Our journey 2013-2014
At Thembalethu, we continue to be passionate about pursuing our vision of alleviating the suffering of those on the perimeter of society. Following on from what we learnt in the previous years we continued with our work in serving through home based care, children's support and youth work. However we also put significant thought and work into re-evaluating our strategic plan and for this we engaged with SALT Alliance and were privileged to gain from the experience and expertise of other charities and NGOs working in a similar field. We looked into innovative ways to become self-sufficient and look forward to seeing some of our plans fulfilled in order that we can continue to benefit the Nkomazi community as a whole. Our work with our international partners was strengthened and we look forward to continued positive relationships.
- Our home based care program continued delivering valuable support services
- Children traumatized through negative home situations
- School attendance and progress by 'children at risk' is a major area of need
- Hunger continues to be a major problem.
- Some children still do not have legal documents to attend school and receive government social grants
- Various pyscho-social-political community dynamics continue to cause many youth to become frustrated and this is translating into negative behavior
- Unemployment is at an unacceptable level - over 34%
- HIV prevalence is 10% higher than the national average
- People are suffering from TB and HIV
How we met the needs –what we did
- We continued with our support work from Block B (see below for facts of interest)
- We held workshops on Children's rights, rape, budgeting, substance abuse and first-aid and nutrition
- We continue to enjoy a positive partnership with the Local Aids Council (LAC) to do VCT at all the functions that they organize.
- We ran more Adventure weeks that included in partnership with youth from the Bryanston Bible Church (BBC) from Johannesburg.
- We up-scaled our Peer Education following the “GOLD” program
- The monthly visits to Ressano Garcia in Mozambique continued
- We continued to deliver food to destitute families
- In line with Thembalethu's succession strategy, Cleophas Maseko was officially appointed as the CEO, after serving for two years as assistant CEO.
- Sally McKibbin (Director) remains a key person with daily input into the management decisions and overseeing many of the departments
- W said good-bye to Vusi Kubayi who left to open the Nkomazi Radio station
- Thembalethu often gives training and talk shows on the radio
- The opening of the library. Jayne the founder of ZA-Foundation and Chairperson Liz attended with some of the other members
Not all things go well! We thank God that Sally survived what could have been a tragic accident when a 4x4 tourist truck broadsided her during a storm.
Facts and figures of interest
- During 2013
- our care supporters had served 357 'new' people and had conducted 2443 visits to homes
- We held 787 support group sessions for People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and sadly saw 19 people pass away
- Our GOLD program held 232 skills training, mentoring and leadership training sessions
- Our peer-to-peer program saw over 1,200 sessions of youth mentoring other youth
- Our after-school Kids Clubs, provided daily care to over 350 children, had a total of 459 attendees at care-givers training
- The drama team delivered edu-drama to over 3,870 learners and 2,631 outpatients at clinics
- ZA-Foundation stocked the library with over 9,000 books
- Through our Block B Care Centre, we tested over 1,200 people for HIV and TB on-site, and 417 at community functions, 696 from the mobile unit, 110 at farms and referred 106 people to hospital or clinics
WHAT WE LEARNT
During these years
We learnt that changes in behavior do not take place in-spite of all the education and knowledge about the dangers of HIV and so the need to concentrate on our youth work and leadership training is becoming even more urgent as the obvious signs of the disease are now less invisible (i.e. fewer people dying due to availability of ARV)
We learnt that we need to intensify our outreach in our efforts to build a sustainable community
We learnt that our youth in our GOLD program are definitely changing their behavior
We learnt that working closely with our partners continues to play a vital role in bringing benefits to the community
We learnt that technology is playing both a positive and negative role in changing our community and that it's hard "to keep up"!