From the beginning, Thembalethu has functioned with a small core of permanent staff ably assisted by contract staff who worked full-time for the duration of a project, and with numerous volunteers from many different countries.  When the impact of HIV and AIDS was strongest and before the availability of ARVs (antiretroviral treatment) from the Department of Health, we had a compliment of 40 full-time staff, dozens of part-time volunteers, and 300 (three hundred) care-supporters in South Africa with 150 care-supporters in Mozambique and 50 in Swaziland.

For many years the SA Government struggled to find a solution to the problem of HIV and AIDS including denying the reality that was hitting the community until the early 2000 's when it changed its strategy and in 2006 began to become active in home-based care.  The village clinics and hospitals were provided with more capacity to deal with the HIV and AIDS problems and ARV's were being distributed. The Department of Social Welfare also became better empowered to handle the issues of legal documents for children and Thembalethu was then able to withdraw much of its support from these activities and to focus on children and youth empowerment programs. Poverty alleviation is now a core function of our work along with continuing HIV and AIDS home-based care support and care for children.

Thembalethu operates with a Board of Directors, management staff and full-time and part-time project staff.

The core staff (2017) are depicted below.

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