OUR JOURNEY 2008-2009
By the end of 2009, the impact of HIV and AIDS on the community was being acknowledged openly by the government and the health systems were better equipped to cope with the situation. The Department of Health started to fund home-based care groups directly in the villages so care-supporters trained by us were able to operate independently and we turned our focus to supporting children, youth work and HIV prevention programs. We still maintained our core base of home-based care work.
- There was still a critical need for home-based care services in homes not reached by the department
- More people were willing to go for HIV Voluntary counselling and testing
- Affected children were still traumatized by their situation but the Department of Social Services were giving out more grants to homes in need
- School attendance by affected children was sporadic and many children dropped out of school
- A major challenge faced by the care-workers this year is that government only supported a group for one year and then moved to the next HBC in their own village so continuity of services was lost
- Hunger continued to be a major problem. This is particularly true of clients taking TB medication
- Many children still did not have the necessary legal documents to attend school and receive government social grants
- The level of illiteracy is still high in the community
How we met the needs –what we did
- We continued to provide coffins and funeral services to our patients when needed
- We broadened our counselling for care-givers, care-supporters and children and operated a counselling service from our offices
- We were able to assist a number of people to get their legal documents, such as birth-certificates, identity documents and other legal papers
- Our ‘Orphan Adventure Week’ gained momentum and proved to have a positive impact on vulnerable children under our care
- Our Youth in Action (YiA) program, assisted by TRIAD, was active in HIV education through schools and clinics
- ZA-Foundation was established
- We continued publishing the weekly Nkomazi Voice which was run by local journalists
- We continued to develop the Wildly African skills training centre
- Our HIV and AIDS care-centre at Block B village became a centre of support
- We established support circles in the villages for people living with HIV
- Four child care forums were formed in 2007 and an additional one in 2008.
- We continued with the RECLISA “back to school “program with positive results
- We started with the GOLD leadership program in 4 schools
- We ran adult literacy classes for 400 adults in English, mother tongue and Maths
- We established 14 Kids Clubs which offered after school care to 1000 children
- Children were taught life-skills and performing arts activities and participated in local and national competitions
- We had 30 children attending our on-site crèche
- One youth has been assisted with a bursary to complete his 2nd year IT tertiary education in Durban
- International travel:
- Children with the African Children’s Choir to England and performed at many prestigious events
- 15 youth traveled to Somerset in England with the ZA-Foundation program
- Two youth attended a conference in Kenya and others attended a variety of relevant workshops in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nelspruit
- 120 youth attended a life skill training camp at the Onderberg camp site
- Our main building burnt down
Facts and figures of interest
- Over 1,560 children had attended an Adventure week
- We supported 2,177 children with various services
- We were supporting over 300 orphan headed homes
- In 2001 we buried 240 people and by 2009 we had helped families of over 3000 people who had passed away
- We had helped over 9,000 people with home-based care and children services
- In 2008/9 we built 22 houses that benefited 116 people with assistance from DAC Systems (Johannesburg) the Bryanston Bible Church and our partners in Netherlands
- In 2009, 120 home-based care supporters were visiting 4,500 OVC at home and referred 560 for in-depth counselling to our office on-site
- 55 orphans in Driekoppies have a communal garden project
- ‘Wind-up’ Radios and lights that don’t require batteries or electricity were handed to 400 families who do not have electricity.(2007 - 2009).
- 375 adult learners took the Mother tongue and English and Math’s level one and level two exams
- In 2009, Block C clinic tested 1,872 people
- By end 2005, 650 gardens were operating and by March 2006, the number reached 773. By Oct 2009, 940 gardens had been established which gave nutrition to over 5,000 people. 27 schools were also part of the garden program
- Due to the success of this project we put together a Garden Manual which was distributed in 2009 to 44 NGO’s in the SADC region.
- Youth-in-Action conducted HIV and AIDS awareness training to over 10,000 youth
- The 'Back to school' program has been a success with 100 children and 5 schools participating
- By end of 2009, an average of 400 learners were using our internet services to help with school work.
WHAT WE LEARNT
During these years
We learnt that due to continued high levels of unemployment, hunger was still a major problem and this was impacting on all areas of family life and having a negative impact on affected children
We learnt that our children’s and YiA programs were successful in addressing youth issues and many youth were starting to take control of their lives and participating in positive activities such as striving to get into tertiary education.
We learnt that the GOLD program was very popular and was showing tangible results in lives being turned around.