QUARTERLY REPORT APRIL 2015 - JUNE 2015
GENERAL HACT presented with national award THIS quarter has seen some wonderful news and developments, not least our participation in the 7th SA AIDS Conference in June which took place in Durban. We were excited to hear that in recognition of the work the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust (HACT) does in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the Centre was nominated for a prestigious national award - the Dira Sengwe Leadership in AIDS Award. More than 4000 individuals participated at the three day event and over 200 leaders and researchers in the HIV/AIDS field presented their work. HACT also gave a presentation at the conference. One of the key pieces of research to be published at the conference was the new New Stigma index – the largest study of its kind. Sadly, results showed that KwaZulu-Natal has the highest HIV stigma in South Africa, so the findings make us more passionate than ever to tackle this challenge head on.
HACT's Sister Queen Zulu, Cwengi Myeni, Linda Chule, Sbu Mthethwa, Phindile Mashiloane, Jess Southey and Laurel Oettle with the Dira Sengwe Leadership in AIDS Award.
Adopt-a-Bed appeal THIS month saw news from the United Nations that the world has a five year window to increase investment in HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention otherwise there could be a significant rise again in HIV infection rates. With this in mind, and with the overall decrease in international funding for HIV/AIDs projects in South Africa, we are looking closely at the long-term sustainability of our programmes, and the need to increase our local and national funding base. Key to this is the funding of our much loved Respite Unit – the only such Unit in our region to provide both rehabilitation and end-stage palliative care for impoverished AIDS patients. We are currently on a drive to secure Adopt-a-Bed donors – donors who sponsor one or more of the beds in our Respite Unit by making either a regular or once-off contribution. Churches, businesses and individuals can contribute by adopting a full bed (R6000 per month), or simply offer a smaller contribution (any amount is appreciated) towards the Adopt-a-Bed campaign. We can offer tours of our programmes for those who are interested in supporting this campaign. For more information contact: email@example.com The Respite Unit has been operating since 2006 and is open 24 hours a day, yearround. The majority of patients are bed-ridden due to advanced stages of AIDS and opportunistic infections such as meningitis, TB and pneumonia. We also accept palliative cancer patients. Since 2006, the Unit has admitted 1000 people a year on average and has seen the number of those discharged increase to 70% – a remarkable achievement given that most patients enter the Unit very close to death’s door. The other 30% of patients come to us to find a dignified and peaceful death, surrounded by the love, care and prayers from our dedicated care-givers and nurses. Our goal is to see each of the 24 beds in the Unit fully funded. This means our patients can rest assured that they will receive the care that they Pemla Mtshali with a patient in the Respite Unit. need well into the future. 2
31 Club’s donations strengthen HACT staff and patients
Ultra-dedicated! UK marathon man gives his all for HACT
THE 31 Club graciously donated a host of much-needed items on Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust’s WE extend a huge thank you to Matt Luff for his wish list, including dumbbells and toiletries for the Respite Unit, and steel-capped boots for amazing effort in completing the 90km Comrades the Horticulture team. Marathon to raise money for our Respite Unit. Matt, As the Respite Unit houses 24 patients, 24 hours a day all year round, basic necessities are a from Oxford in the United Kingdom, finished the ultra continuous need. The 31 Club team handed out 24 beautiful hand-packed gift bags which -marathon in 8hrs and 32minutes, raising nearly each contained a bar of soap, deodorant, toothpaste, a toothbrush, lip balm, moisturiser and R20,000 for our Adopt-a-Bed appeal and securing a baby powder. prestigious medal. Jo Behr, the 31 Club Charity Convenor, said, “The 31 Club are so humbled by the good work being done at Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust and are proud to have been associated with this organisation for several years. We visited the Respite Unit and handed over love bags filled with much needed toiletries for the patients. It was heart-warming to see their joy and appreciation, with many of them applying lip balm and body lotion right away. 31 Club continue to be amazed each year by the work being done at HACT and the improved survival rate in the Respite Unit.”
Matt said, “Running for the Trust and raising money which will make a real difference, inspired me on the route. I felt a real boost in my speed when I ran past the Hillcrest AIDS Centre.” If you plan to run the Comrades next year or any other event, and wish to raise money for HACT in the process, please do get in touch by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org . We can help you by providing publicity material and advice on how to fundraise.
Boerewors roll fundraiser
Lana Titmas, Katie Niemann, Olivia Myeza (the CEO of HACT), Thokozani Yika, (Horticulture Manager at HACT), with Jo Behr, Ann Osborne with Monika Davies and a few of the goods donated by the 31 Club.
IN celebration of Father’s Day, the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust and Pick n Pay teamed up at the Christians retail Village in Hillcrest for a boerewors roll fundraiser on Saturday 20 June. The event raised much needed funds towards our work at the Centre. The first 200 dads who spent R150 at Pick n Pay or R50 at any other store received a FREE boerie roll supplied by Pick n Pay and enjoyed the party atmosphere outside the supermarket. A big thank you to the volunteers who helped Olivia Myeza (middle), with Vinod and Marlene out on the day, and to Christians Village from Pick n Pay. and Pick n Pay for supporting the event. 3
Smiling success for Truly Grounded Coffee Café LAST quarter we were delighted to launch a new venture with the opening of the Truly Grounded Coffee Café in our car park at the front of the Centre. For every cup of freshly ground coffee purchased, Barista Ryan donates R1 to HACT. We caught up with Ryan this week to see how business is progressing. Ryan said, “The last three months have been a real success so far with good earnings from sales, which I am pleased to donate to HACT. I have personally enjoyed the experience of serving under the beautifully beaded HACT tree each morning from 6:30am. It's really just great to be able to help such a wonderful community project by doing what I enjoy, making great coffee to bring out the smiles! So here's a massive thank you to each and every customer I have had in the past four months of trading at the Hillcrest Aids Centre!”
IT server replacement THIS quarter we embarked on a much-needed project to replace our ailing server. The old system was so antiquated that the needs of the server were twenty times what the system could provide, resulting in our IT systems frequently failing. After a thorough tender process we found the right company for the job - ITCentric have experience working with NGOs and the private sector so understand our needs and challenges. We want to extend a warm thank you to Mark Jerrard who volunteered his time and IT skills to advise us on the tender process; and a big thank you for all the hard work and extra hours donated by David, Keenan and Lee from ITCentric. We are especially very grateful to Zulu Aid who funded the hardware and installation. We look forward to improved administrative efficiency as a result.
Staff news Fond farewell to Kerry WE said farewell to our dear Kerry Murray in April after years of service at HACT. Many tears were shed but we are so pleased to see Kerry move on to a role she will clearly enjoy. Here is a tribute to Kerry from the Woza Moya team: “With a very sad heart we accepted Kerry Murray’s resignation as Woza Moya’s Financial Manager this quarter when she left for a position at her children’s school. Kerry served Woza Moya for eight years and took Woza Moya from a fledgling business to what it is today. We cannot thank her enough for her friendship and guidance to all the staff; and her patience, honesty and integrity in all she did for Woza Moya. We wish her well - she will be sorely missed by all our friends and customers.”
Ryan Schalkwyk brewing coffee for some of his customers.
Following in Kerry’s footsteps, we welcomed Cheryl Craig to the team in April. Cheryl brings with her a wealth of experience having worked previously in finance for a law company for many years. Cheryl is with us full time and manages the finance for Woza Moya.
Kerry Murray 4
Rita reaches for her dreams while Phindiwe expands her horizons AS one of our longest-standing employees and someone who has demonstrated great dedication to her job and those we serve, we rejoice in the knowledge that Rita Shange has been given the opportunity to fulfil her dream of becoming a qualified nurse.
PHINDIWE Mashiloane has stepped into the role of Acting HIV Counselling and Testing Manager, taking the reins from Rita. Phindiwe was not new to HACT, having been employed as the Molweni Field Officer on the Granny Support Groups Project since early in 2014.
Rita said her goodbyes at a very moving farewell party at HACT in May. The Centre’s HIV Counselling and Testing Manager - overseeing the Counselling and Testing team, the Feeding Scheme, the Clothing Scheme and the School Support Fund, said: “After 19 years, I was nervous giving up my position and starting something new. It wasn’t a great feeling knowing that I was going to be giving up my main job as I still have a family to support, but knowing that I am studying something that I really, really want to do is amazing.”
The journey for Phindiwe has had a number of twists and turns. The 52-year-old mother of three and grandmother of four worked with the Valley Trust as a Health Facilitator for 15 years. When the project she worked within closed down due to lack of funding in 2011, she worked closely with a crèche in her hometown of Molweni – one of the communities that HACT serves.
“I was so nervous on my first day of nursing training, I kept asking myself if I was sure I was going to pass. I couldn’t even sleep, wondering if I was going to be able to do this. But then the next morning I put on my nurses uniform and I had that “at last” feeling. I knew then that I had always wanted to do this, that nursing was my future and what I needed to be doing,” said Rita.
One of Rita’s most moving moments as a parent was when her daughter said how proud she was of her for the decision she made to study nursing. “On my first day of training, my daughter woke up early and ran through to see me. She was so excited to see me in my uniform and kept telling me how proud she is of me and what I am doing. Since then she tells me that I am brilliant for getting such good results in my tests – for my age!” laughed Rita. We wish Rita all the very best in her studies.
“I saw this role come up and I have experience dealing with AIDS-related issues and counselling. I saw it as an opportunity to continue working with the community but in a different role. It would be a way to challenge myself. I have responsibilities as a woman and as a mother to learn and grow and to better support my family,” said Phindiwe. In May this year Phindiwe started her new role and is currently in her third month as the head of the department. Her duties include overseeing the running of the HIV Counselling and Testing onsite, in communities and at workplaces, the Feeding Scheme and the Clothing Scheme. She has enjoyed working closely with the beneficiaries of the Feeding Scheme, discussing the problems they face as well as offering them guidance and support. “In some areas there are people that have no idea about HIV/AIDS, especially with the stigma in the Valley. Our work is definitely needed,” said Phindiwe.
Goodbye to Mieke and hello to our new volunteers IT seems like only yesterday that we said goodbye to our gentle and dedicated volunteer, Mieke Kruger, who brought with her much needed skills in HR, as well as helping out in all sorts of other ways. Mieke has gone on to find a full time job elsewhere but is keeping us in her prayers - thank you Miekie for all your help. Matt Coetzee MATT (originally from Kloof High School) is volunteering at HACT for three months helping with the monitoring and evaluation of our Education programmes. After achieving a scholarship, he will start his second year at the prestigious Yale University in August pursuing a major in either Economics or Global Affairs and International Development, and is attempting to double major with History. This is not a surprise to us as Matt excels in all he does. His best-kept secret is that he was in the South African National Swimming team and now swims for Yale! Matt is doing invaluable work, including a survey-based analysis of HACT's education programme in several underprivileged schools. Matt said, “Working at HACT has been an incredible experience so far. Having grown up just about down the road I wish I had become involved with the organisation sooner. The Hillcrest Aids Centre is a true example of a values-based NGO that is making a profound difference in the surrounding community. I am grateful for HACT's welcoming environment and the opportunity to contribute to the organisation and the outstanding work it is doing.”
Breanna Gilbert IN this very busy quarter, we were so grateful in the Marketing Department to receive a volunteer application from a student in Australia. Breanna (Bree) is currently in her final year of her Masters in International Development Practices course at Monash University. With her relaxed ‘can do’ attitude we knew we had found someone special. Bree fitted in as if she’d been part of the HACT family for years, and soon got to work assisting us with our reports and Facebook posts. “I came to volunteer at HACT to research how community-led interventions impact HIVrelated stigma. My interest in HIV-related stigma led me to focus on HACTs caring and loving attitude towards all who walk through their gates,” said Bree. “Everyone is accepted and treated as family, and the people at HACT feel that this is the best approach in tackling the spread of HIV and reducing the stigma behind the virus.” Bree will be with us until the middle of August this year. We look forward to seeing the results of her study. 6
Zoe Life Volunteers THIS quarter we were blessed with a team of five wonderful International Citizen’s Service (ICS) Volunteers from the UK and South Africa.
future, such as sewing, bead work or gardening. The project will be built on by our HomeBased Carers and Granny Support Groups.
The ten week voluntary program - affiliated with Zoe Life and Tear Fund - enables young people to partner together and work with local South African NGOs to deliver community projects. The team lived in pairs for two months with local host families, which gave them the full experience of living with a Zulu family in a community. They had to adapt to minimal/no running water, bucket washes and electricity load shedding.
On their return home, Laureen will continue her studies in social work, Marubini will attend the African Leadership Academy, and Naa Amua and Naomi will start medical school. We wish all the ICS volunteers well for their futures.
“We agreed that the lack of the luxuries we are so used to is more than made up for by the beauty of our surroundings and the work we have done at HACT. We also see that our vision complements that of HACT, as we are striving to be a team who will seek to empower the people we serve to realise their full potential in God, embracing their individuality,” the team wrote in their farewell report. The project they worked on was made up of two halves involving the after-school support groups for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs). The ICS volunteers made important improvements to the curriculum for the 4-11 year olds to include life skills topics that are delivered in an age-appropriate way including involving activities and games. Secondly, the volunteers started a Gogo/ OVC engagement project with two Gogo groups and two 12-18 year old OVC support groups, in order to build intergenerational relationships. Part of this was to provide a platform for the Gogos to teach the young people skills that could potentially be income-generating in the
Marubini, Naomi, Laureen, Naa Amua and Stephanie.
PREVENTION CHILDREN’S PROGRAMME WE have worked with 377 children in our programme over the past three months. We have also made some exciting changes to the way the programme is delivered within the Child Support Groups.
It is every child’s right to be a child, to play and enjoy the company of their peers. This is our goal within the Support Groups and we are always overjoyed to see this happening with the children we work with.
The arrival of five volunteers from the International Citizen Service (ICS) at the end of May, meant that we could renew the Children’s Programme manuals, as well as establish a link between the Children’s Programme and the Granny Group projects – ideas that we have long desired to implement but not have the staff capacity to do.
This quarter, we identified a seven year-old girl called Precious (name changed) from the Embo Support Group who was not participating in the group activities and was shy around the other children. She did not want to play and preferred to be alone. Her OVC carer noticed the behaviour and devoted some extra time to the child. She discovered that Precious had problems at home, and that her mother shouted at her a lot. Due to this, she had become withdrawn, both at home and in the Support Group.
“It was clear from the start that this was a skilled and dynamic team and they soon got to work editing the current curriculum for the four to eleven year old children to include more relevant life skills topics which can be delivered in an age-appropriate way,” said Linda Chule, the Home-Based Care and Children’s Programme Manager. As a result, we made some important changes to the way the Support Groups are structured. They are now split into smaller groups according to age, which allows us to direct the lessons in a more efficient way and the impact for the children is maximised.
The OVC carer started visiting the family and spent some time with the mother. She discovered that the mother was dealing with many of her own issues and had been venting her frustration on her daughter. The OVC carer worked with the mother to find other coping methods, and since this intervention we have seen a difference in the Precious’ behaviour. She now gets involved in all the activities and plays with the other children. We are so thankful that our work is making a very real difference in the lives of children like Precious.
The lessons are fun with an emphasis on group work and individual exercises, which cater for all types of learning personalities. Our Moonlight Support Group Home Based Carer, Sanelisiwe Dlamini, said that the changes are really helping her to grow as a Home-Based Carer with many benefits for the children she works with. She reports:
“I feel so confident right now after being given the opportunity to be part of developing the lesson plan we use to facilitate the sessions in our support groups.’’ The involvement of the OVC carers in the development of the programme will ensure that it is sustainable and facilitated correctly.” Meanwhile, the linking of Granny Groups and Children’s Support Groups kicked off with a joint meeting of 12-17 year olds from Mlambo Support Group and the Silwanendlala Gogo Support Group. It was a fun-filled day with lots of important lessons learnt. The Granny’s taught the youngsters how to crochet, do bead work and sewing.
*not Precious in photo 8
PREVENTION LIFE SKILLS Positive Lifestyles event THIS April saw the return of our hugely popular Positive Lifestyles event with more than 1500 youth participating on stage or helping behind the scenes and spectating. In this third annual event, the categories were: Poetry, Ingoma (Zulu music), Gumboots dancing, Umshado (wedding songs) and Gospel music, and were once again performed with inspiring passion and imagination. The learners are all part of the Life Skills Programme run by HACT’s Education Department in five underprivileged primary schools in the Valley of the 1000 Hills. The vision of the programme is to achieve an HIV-free generation through education, awareness and encouraging hope for the future. The positive impact of the life skills sessions could be seen in the Children’s teamwork and self-confidence, as they planned for the event and performed on stage. Our Education Manager, Sbu Mthethwa, said, “This event gives the children insight into the future – it gives an idea of where talent can take you. Using arts such as poetry helps embed the messages of positive life skills and HIV prevention deeply into the memory – it gives power to take action.” We were very pleased to welcome the Ward Councillor from Molweni at the event. There are currently 1073 students on the programme and 29 sessions are held in each grade.
Two of the pupils performing at the Life Skills event.
Future leader in the making
IN this reporting period we were delighted to welcome Inchanga Primary School to the programme.
WE were delighted to hear about an ex-Life Skills learner who is now taking Grade 8 at one of the local private schools. She achieved a scholarship through one of our partner NGOs in the area – the Imbeleko Foundation- which funds excellent young learners who show a potential of being future leaders. Raised by a single parent in her granny’s small house, she paid close attention during the Life Skills lessons yet she was not supported by her sickly mother and never knew her father.
Good relationships have been established with the school Principal, key teachers and Governing body. Inchanga is an area with huge social and health challenges such as drug and alcohol abuse; many children are orphaned and have HIV, and there is a lack of parenting so the children have little access to life skills knowledge.
In spite of all the challenges she faced, she showed a great deal of dedication to her school work, and led group discussions and debates during lessons. A report from Imbeleko said she is an outstanding young person in everything she does and she will be a future leader of tomorrow.
New primary school comes on board
PREVENTION PEER EDUCATION More Peer Educators trained WE are pleased to report that each of the seven schools we are partnered with now has Peer Educators trained and equipped to be agents for change in their schools, homes and communities. Our Education Department held one Peer Educator Training in April which took place over three days and was attended by 20 learners and two peer educator mentors (teachers trained by our Education team to be mentors for the peer educators). Further training days are planned in coming months. Peer educators are chosen for their natural leadership abilities and achievements in the classroom and in extra curriculum activities with the purpose of providing positive peer influence. Trained peer educator mentors - teachers who provide counselling and support to the peer educators – give information and guidance where needed. Ten students from Kwantebeni Comprehensive High School in KwaNyuswa, and ten students from Thokoza Mnganga High School in Ntshongweni (Shongweni Dam) took part in the training. The dynamic and interactive training focussed on three broad topics: healthy life styles, positive life styles and HIV/AIDS knowledge. The students also discussed the role of peer educators in a school setting and their responsibility to deal with challenges related to HIV/AIDS. Two award ceremonies took place in the schools which were involved in the peer education training, during which the peer educators were recognised in front of their peers, and awarded peer education badges to readily identify them in the school.
Awareness and expo events reach thousands OUTREACH activities run by the peer educators over the three months included awareness and Career Expo events which meet the specific needs of each class and school. In April and June, awareness campaigns were held at school assemblies, where the peer educators relayed messages about HIV/AIDS and related issues concerning young people through poetry, music, drama and presentations. These events reached 3578 youth and also improved the self-confidence and public speaking skills of the peer educators. One of the key messages for the June awareness event at Thokoza Mnganga high school was “never do what you’ll regret!” Topics focussed on risky behaviours which young people need to be aware of as they encounter challenges in the process of growing up, including abuse of alcohol and drugs, keeping bad company, engaging in unprotected sex, and relationships with “sugar daddies”. As a result of these awareness events and regular events held in the future, we expect to see a change in behaviours over the next few years, such as a reductions in teenage pregnancies. Most immediately, we see the learners engaging more in discussions in the classroom, especially about issues such as drug addiction. In April and June, more than 100 learners took part in a series of Career Expos. Expos take place throughout the year in all the High Schools involved in our Peer Education Programme. They offer guidance about subject selection for matric in order to help learners apply for their chosen tertiary studies, as well as to know where and how to apply for scholarships. In the sessions, the learners were encouraged to set career goals and were provided with bursary forms for various fields of study.
“It is so encouraging to see the peer educators eager to offer advice and knowledge to their peers about relationships, healthy lifestyles and HIV/ AIDS. I find it moving to see them grow and flourish in this role – they are really showing a big heart for others and for their futures,” said HACT Education Manager, Sbu Mthethwa. 10
HIV CARE HIV COUNSELLING AND TESTING # Negative
Wellness Campaigns THIS quarter we are focussing our report on our Wellness Campaigns which have again seen many successes. Wellness Campaigns offer participants HIV tests, blood sugar and blood pressures tests, CD4 count tests (measure of the immune system,) counselling and education. Our main targets were the communities in the Valley of 1000 Hills which do not have clinics in the region. The people from these communities would normally have to travel long distances and pay expensive taxi fares to reach their closest clinics. We had an excellent response from the communities over the three months, with a large number of people participating. Children are encouraged to come along and join the educational session on HIV/AIDS basics, which features topics such as transmission and the importance of regular HIV testing. These campaigns can make a huge difference to people who previously had no one to turn
to for help. We were overjoyed to hear one story which shows that no matter what age you are, having an HIV test is still a vital and sensible thing to do: Our HIV Counselling and Testing Manager reports: â€œWe had a granny come to one of our community campaigns to do a HIV test. She was experiencing chest pains and was also coughing blood. She had previously made the long journey to visit other clinics only to be told she was not eligible for a test because she was no longer sexually active and was considered too old. When we tested her, she tested positive for HIV and so we counselled her to ensure she could understand what this meant for her life. She is now managing her HIV through the help of our Home-Based Carers and can enjoy a longer life than she might have done if she had not been tested.â€? This story emphasises the importance of all South Africans testing and knowing their status, regardless of age or other indicators such as gender, race or sexual orientation.
Successful partnership ANOTHER exciting development is our partnership with an organisation called Siyanqoba which works in different communities to our own but also conducts Wellness Campaigns. They sent us a request to partner with them after we conducted a big campaign with different clinics and organisations from their area. We received a great deal of interest from the local people who were particularly keen to be tested by somebody from outside their area. With HIV stigma still rife in some areas, people are often worried that they may be tested by someone they know. Community members queue up to take part in a Wellness Campaign.
So our counsellors were highly sought after because they were new faces. The day was a huge success and we hope to conduct more campaigns in partnership with Siyanqoba. 11
HIV CARE RESPITE UNIT CD4 Counts
Patients referred for ARV's
Patients discharged female (HIV)
Other bloods done
Patients discharged male (HIV)
Chest x-rays (in patients)
Total Patients Discharged (HIV)
Patients admitted Female (HIV)
Patients deceased female (HIV)
Patients admitted Male (HIV) Total patients admitted (HIV)
Patients deceased male (HIV) Total patients died (HIV)
Welcome to Dr Carpenter
Enabling ARV adherence DURING this reporting period we have noticed an increase in admissions due to patients defaulting on their ARVs because of their medical aid funds depleting. To assist these patients, our Home-Based Carers walked hand-in-hand with them through the process of completing ARV readiness training and eventually getting on to ARVs through their local government clinic. Our patients are then transported to their respective local clinics to collect their TB or ARV medication.
OUR carers and nursing staff continued to provide loving care to the 24 patients in our onsite ‘Othandweni’ (place of love) Respite Unit over the past few months. Many of our patients admitted into the Unit are bed-ridden and weak due to advanced stages of AIDS and secondary illnesses, so we were delighted when Dr Stephen Carpenter, one of HACT’s Trustees and a leading doctor in the HIV/AIDS and TB fields, agreed to volunteer in our Respite Unit one morning per week from April. Although Dr Carpenter has volunteered in an on-call capacity with the Unit since 2006, being based in the Unit once a week will mean he can be much more involved. His work involves assisting us with checking patient chest x-rays for TB, doing ward rounds with the nursing staff, helping to create care-plans for patients, prescribing medication, and administering palliative care where required. “You need to do what you can despite the huge problems. It’s vital just to be there for people – to support those who need physical and emotional care– it’s all about unconditional love and acceptance,” said Dr Carpenter. Dr. Carpenter recalls the several occasions when a patient admitted to the Unit on death’s door looked unlikely to recover – and then a miracle occurred.
Training and upliftment FOUR HACT staff members are currently enrolled in nursing training courses, thanks to donor funding. We always emphasise the importance and need for empowerment and upliftment amongst our staff and beneficiaries, and are always grateful when funding allows us to help our staff achieve their aspirations and reach their full potential.
Nursing students from the USA visit the Unit IN May, the Respite Unit hosted a group of eight fourth-year nursing students from Villanova University in the United States of America. The nursing students volunteered in the Unit and at other local non-profit organisations, with two nursing students working in our Unit each day to assist with basic nursing services, feeding patients and interacting with both patients and staff.
Dr Stephen Carpenter
“You never know how people with HIV may respond. I was at the supermarket the other day and the lady at the till suddenly said, ‘Do you remember me? The lady behind the till was once a patient in the Respite Unit who I was almost sure would die. She suffered with drug resistant TB when admitted. We treated her but weren’t sure she would recover. Now, here before me, was a healthy, happy lady with a good job and an income.” 12
HIV CARE HOME-BASED CARE THE Home Based Care team leader, Linda Chule, has been busy this quarter streamlining the team’s admin systems. One of the key tasks has been to ensure that the list of discharged Respite Unit clients is up to date and to link the clients to HBC’s who are based close by.
Supporting each other IT is always encouraging when the HBC’s take initiative to make their community a better place. HBC Nomusa Nojiyeza from Kwangcolosi is doing just that. During one of her visits to her clients she identified many different challenges they face - the most common being poverty. As a result, she decided to form a support group for the women around her area.
medication at the beginning of this year but has still been very ill. Philisiwe Zondi, one of our HBC’s, has been working closely with him, helping with pill counting, and encouraging him to take his medication. The wonderful news is that he is recovering dramatically, and has moved from being a third category client (very ill) to second category without being admitted into hospital. “When something like this happens, it really gives us hope and encouragement that what we are doing is all worth it”, said HBC manager, Linda Chule.
The name of the group is Siyaphambili support group, made up of 47 members. The group has secured a space to start a vegetable garden, have fenced it and started working on it. The group meets twice every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and shares information ranging from how to save money to tips on how to raise teenagers. The focus is all about passion and empowerment!
Making it all worth while 42-YEAR-OLD Thembinkosi Ngcobo from Embo has been ill for quite some time. He was initiated onto ARV
The team of Home-Based Carers for the Children’s Programme.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH GRANNY SUPPORT GROUPS THE Granny Groups programme has been so busy over the last three months that we only have space to report on some of the many exciting developments. There are now 46 groups which meet together across seven communities including Molweni, KwaNyuswa, Inchanga, Klaarwater, Dassenhoek, and Ngcolosi. Three Field Officers and a group of volunteer social work students from UNISA support the groups and carry out regular visits. Sports training and sewing classes took place this quarter, as well as workshops in poultry farming, abuse of woman and children, and a workshop on female condoms. Some of the grannies are attending a series of business work-shops at Hillcrest Library from July, and a number of the Granny Groups also started sessions with the children from the Children’s Programme to build intergenerational relationships and exchange skills. The Granny Group gardens have faced some challenges, not least from the drought which is severely affecting crop production. Granny Groups Manager, Cwengie Myeni, reports: “We have started to have meetings with communities to go back to revive the streams for getting water and also encouraging people to think of buying Jojo tanks to collect water in when its start raining. We really pray to God for early rains”. As we write, we are so thankful that some Kitiza Nzama watering her garden. rain is now falling.
Suwengi’s sewing enterprise through WhatsApp SUWENGI (name changed) was unemployed and desperate for something to keep her busy when she heard about the great things being done by the Granny Support Groups in her area. After joining a Granny Support Group she joined the Dress Making School. During the six-month course she learnt a great deal, and after graduating her life changed for the better. She has had a huge amount of success selling pinafores and is currently making more than 100 pinafores per week using Whatsapp to advertise. Her husband is so excited about her business that he is planning to purchase a sewing machine for her. Suwengi is by no means the only granny who has a thriving business. Another granny who was previously unemployed decided to join a support group and then the Dress Making School. She also advertises her work through her phone and attracts orders from as far afield as Port Shepstone and Newcastle. She has managed to buy new furniture for her home through her new found income, and can support her family. We Praise God for these wonderful developments.
One of the grannies taking part in the Dress Making Course. *not Suwengi
COMMUNITY OUTREACH GRANNY SUPPORT GROUPS and CLOTHING SCHEME Dress Making School
ONE of the key developments this quarter has been the expansion of the Dressmaking School. Members from our Granny Support Groups have been meeting with the KwaNyuswa local leadership and the Durban Municipality to discuss business opportunities in the KwaNyuswa region. The Dress Making School is hoping to get permission to operate small businesses in the area and to obtain the rights to make school uniforms for the schools.
OUR Clothing Scheme has continued to provide an income to 20 enterprising women and their families. The scheme still faces the challenge of an irregular supply of clothing so we are working to improve the supply and range of clothing, as well as encouraging the women to find additional income generation strategies to reduce dependency on the Scheme.
Since the Dress Making School started in 2013, dozens of grandmothers, mothers and breadwinners have graduated from the six-month course with a certificate and a newfound confidence in themselves as they go on to share their knowledge with their groups and start their own businesses. The group of 20 women meet up twice a week in Molweni for training.
This quarter we interviewed some of the women to establish which clothing sells the best, then ran a series of ads on our Facebook pages to improve the quality and type of clothing donated. By matching the clothing to market needs, we can ensure a more stable income for the women. Many of the women who benefit from our Clothing Scheme have challenging backgrounds so it is heart-warming to hear the positive difference the Scheme is making. One of the ladies said: â€œMy life has completely changed since I started selling the clothes. Before I had no money for myself as I was unemployed. I was not able to buy food for my family and my children were often unable to make it to school. Now with the money I make from selling the clothes, I can afford these things.â€?
Baphindile Mngadi, Dumisile Ngcobo and Bongekile Phewa are a few of the women taking part in the Dress Making School.
Some come onto the scheme because they are totally dependent on their husbands to provide money for the household. We celebrate that our Clothing Scheme enables women to take control of their own lives. Through being empowered with their own source of income they can provide Pretty Masondo with some of the donated clothing. for their family in the way they know best. 15
COMMUNITY OUTREACH FEEDING SCHEME AS we work towards our ultimate aim of people able to support themselves, empowering them to take control of their lives, we celebrate each milestone – such as three of our Feeding Scheme families starting to earn their own income, and to move off the Scheme. To continue with the good news, one of the younger participants who has been on the Feeding Scheme since Primary School because of his vulnerable circumstances, has just finished matric and is now working with us once a week. He has expressed how happy he is to be getting this work experience and support from HACT. His dream is to go to University one day. This is what we strive to achieve – that young people who seem to have no hope for the future can one day fulfil their dreams.
of our Children’s Home Based Carers from KwaNyuswa identified a young boy who is staying with his granny. The boy has HIV and is receiving ARV treatment but has been struggling to find sufficient food to sustain him and his granny through the month. The family was referred to our Feeding Scheme to increase their food supply for a while. We recently received a message from the granny thanking HACT for the support given to them. She said, “Thank you very, very much for what you have done for my family. God bless you.” The journey has just begun for this granny and her grandson as we assist them in finding alternative ways to source a regular income once they have left the Feeding Scheme.
Another heart-warming story reached us through our Children’s Programme. One
One of the Feeding Scheme beneficiaries transferring her food parcels into her container.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH HORTICULTURE THE Horticulture team has seen some exciting developments over the last quarter, not least the completion of a new chicken house for Sbongokuhle granny group in Inchanga and a workshop in May on poultry production held by Meadow Feeds at Magatsha Hall, KwaNyuswa - which fifty one grannies attended.
new layer hens, as their existing layers were getting too old. When I told Gogo Dlala that I had sourced some hens, she was over the moon. She immediately held a meeting with the granny group the following day and said, ‘Thokozani, my son, please come and pick us up in the morning and take us to the post office so that we can withdraw money from our account to buy our point of lay hens’.”
May also saw progress in the vegetable garden at Sthandiwe crèche in Inchanga. After training at the beginning of the month on how to prevent soil erosion and build raised beds, it was a joy to see the stable soil and neat beds at the end of the month, and to meet the very pleased principal of the crèche, Mrs Bhengu. Soil erosion is a constant challenge at the granny gardens in Inchanga. Heavy rain fall in May caused erosion, followed by cracking of the soil through further drought, creating large gaps and spaces in the soil.
Thokozani said, “This made me feel proud of these grannies - they have their own bank account where they keep their money for the group. The only thing they needed from me was transport and company. So we bought fifteen hens at eighty rand each which amounts to one thousand two hundred rand in total, and which we delivered next day. The group was very happy. These are the kind of groups who have been able to take the project and make it their own.”
KwaXimba family gardens THE team spent a number of days this quarter visiting the gardens at KwaXimba sponsored by our much-loved donor, Libby Weir from Australia. In June, a training session was held, attended by twelve community members from KwaXimba. The team showed the garden owners how to make seed beds, how to sow seed and how to maintain the beds. Follow up training will be held in the next few months on transplanting seedlings from the seed bed into the garden.
Poultry Project for gogos ONE of the highlights this quarter has been the vegetable garden belonging to a granny group at KwaNyuswa called Khuthalile, in the Silwanendlala area. Thokozani reports, “This is one the hardest working group of grannies I have ever worked with. They have a good leader in Gogo Dlala who is fun to be around. The group were in need of
A gogo with some of the eggs.
As with all garden projects, we do not have a 100% success rate, and some gardens become neglected if the owner hasn’t taken an interest or made a commitment to tending to the garden. One such garden belongs to a school which had severely neglected their garden. After a visit by the team and discussion with the School Principal, together with HACT’s Education Manager, we have managed to convince the school to try again. Thokozani reports, “We wrote down some tasks with deadlines that need to be met by the school. We will see when schools open how far they are with the tasks and also monitor how serious they are about providing fresh vegetables to the learners.”
Varied crops despite drought IN addition to building the chicken coup and conducting training, the Horticulture team were busy visiting many of the granny gardens to check on progress and to supply seeds and seedlings. Despite the lack of rain, the grannies have managed to plant a wide variety of crops from spinach, green peppers and carrots in the Lethokuhle granny group garden in Molweni, to sweet potato, moringa trees, maize, green pepper, carrots and beetroot in the Sbongokuhle granny garden, and beetroot, spinach, onion, green pepper and pumpkins in the Qalakancane garden in Inchanga. We look forward to harvest time and pray for much needed rain. 17
INCOME GENERATION WOZA MOYA Little Travellers OUR little Travellers have once again been our biggest seller! In the past year we sold 54 000 Travellers, and are constantly looking at ways to expand the range, such as our new Christmas-themed range of Little Travellers. Recycling Department THE recycling department was very busy preparing for the Intellectual Property exhibition at the KwaZulu-Natal Society of the Arts, which has just taken place. The theme was ‘conservation of our oceans’ and the wonderful creation made by our resident recycling artist – Francis - was an underwater scene made totally from recycled waste. Francis has also been running training programmes for children to teach them the benefits of recycling. In these training sessions Francis showed them what can be created using recycled products, and the children made their own recycled products out of paper bags.
Swaziland Bushfire BUSI and Paula were delighted to have the opportunity to go the Bushfire Festival in Swaziland organised through Oxfam. We shared a market place stall with Woza Moya Ixopo and Fancy Stich - a fantastic opportunity for us to cement our partnership with these organisations. Sales for our partner organisations have been healthy and we look forward to their continued growth. Our aim is to create a craft hub in Hillcrest which supports crafts across KZN - especially rural craft groups who do not have access to local or international markets. Super Soap Dish Exhibition THIS quarter we held a Super Soap Dish Exhibition at the Longmynd Gallery next door to HACT. The inspiration behind the exhibition is the Rondawel soaps in the Woza Moya shop, which are a natural, locally- and hand-made product. We commissioned ceramic artists to create some amazing dishes of all shapes, sizes and colours for the exhibition, and the most popular dishes can now be ordered from the Woza Moya shop. Beader’s story Jacqueline Dlamini has been working with Woza Moya since 2004 and has her own line of necklaces and bracelets. Designing this jewellery has been her only form of income since leaving school. There are 16 people in her family, five of whom do beadwork and support the other family members. “I learnt to bead from my mother. She is very old now but still beads. We started the beading to create traditional dresses. Now my work is not so traditional but it sells around the world.” Jacqueline tries to make jewellery that people can fall in love with and has created some lovely pieces for the Woza Moya shop.
Paula Thomson, Frances Carr and Jess Southey pose with the exhibit.
“If I am in love with it then I know for a fact someone else will love it too. I am very grateful to Woza Moya, as all the complicated things I can do with the beads I learnt through the training Woza Moya provided me with”. 18
INCOME GENERATION PLANT NURSERY Our Plant Nursery has been flourishing in the past months, with sales increasing by almost a third between April and June, and customers complimenting on how beautiful and creative the nursery looks. One of the most talked about features of our nursery design is our little ‘gardens on the cross’ feature which reflects a theme of the sea using shells, miniature plants and succulents to represent coral. Customers have also been impressed with the quality of the plants and their cost which is very reasonable relative to the costs of plants at other nurseries. In addition, the fact that we use topsoil for our plants instead of growing medium is appealing as this makes it easier to transplant the plants into home gardens, and the plants survive better because of the soil. We are very excited about our new venture this quarter– starting a vegetable garden at HACT. So far, we have grown peas from seed, spinach and onions from seedlings. “This has been one of the things that we have wanted to start for a very long time and we are glad that we have done it. It’s a beautiful garden and we look forward to the harvest,” said Plant Nursery Manager, Thokozani Yika. The vegetables are on sale to staff and also provide a cost effective and nutritious vegetable source for our Respite Unit patients. We continue to keep track of our best-selling plants with Duranta (Sheena’s Gold), Agapanthus, Cuphea, Wild Dagga, and varieties of Euphorbia and Verburnum coming top. With the prolonged drought we have introduced a wider variety of drought resistant plants, and have made these plants a feature of our special offers, such as Ruschia and Crassula. Some new products in the nursery have been introduced over the past three months. Our customers have been looking for vegetable seedlings which we can now offer them packed in trays of six and eight. Other products include attractive planted window boxes made from pine, and rustic wooden garden furniture.
Business growth We look forward to continuing growth in business next quarter as we increase our advertising reach through our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HACTNursery. In May, we took an exhibition stand to the Indigenous Open Gardens show which was held at Cotswold Downs Estate. This is an annual event held by the Kloof Conservancy as a fundraiser, and proved to be a good way of attracting new customers to our nursery. We will look out for similar opportunities to showcase our stock next quarter.
Siyabonga Shabalala with the Oestopernum Trailing Mauve Daisy and the Begonia Richmondensis.
FINANCES Laurel begins a new adventure & Tony welcomed to the team
Expenses: April to June 2015
OUR HR news is that our beloved Laurel Oettle, who started at HACT as the Fundraising and Marketing Manager and then moved across to become Finance and HR Manager, is leaving us in mid-August to take up a leadership position with another non-profit organisation. We celebrate this great opportunity with her and wish her all the best. Stepping in as Finance and HR Manager is Mr Tony Lott, who comes to us with more than 20 yearsâ€™ experience in financial management at local health-based non-profit organisations.
Admin & Building
Income Generation & Nursery HIV Care Programmes Prevention Programmes Community Projects
R 1 264 556.68 R 1 238 288.63 R 231 493.04 R 176 751.82
Expenses: April to June 2015
Income: April to June 2015 Donations Grants Revenue
R 993 013.95 R 606 370.05 R 1 127 967.49
Prevention Programmes 7%
Community Projects 5%
Income: April to June 2015
Admin & Building 19%
HIV Care Programmes 34%
Income Generation & Nursery 35%
Grant-givers and partner organisations
Goodwill & Growth for Africa (GAGA) UK SRC Cultuurvakanties
Afrisun KZN Community Development Trust Solon Foundation 21
Thanks to our local and foreign donors and friends for making a contribution this quarter! 31 Club
Acti-Chem SA (Pty) Ltd
St Agnes Church
St Vincent de Paul
Synergy Worldwide Logistics (Pty) Ltd
Mark Van Den Berg
Meryl's School of Cooking
Natal Scale Company
Optima Management Services
Dirty Seagulls Foundation
Pick n Pay
Raymond Van Staden
Hillcrest Methodist Church
Honourable Mr. Justice Malcolm J.D Wallis
Shezi Industrial Holdings t/a Neptun Boot
Hornby Smyly Glavovic Inc
Thistledown Properties Toni Schumann Truly Grounded Coffee Shop Villanova University Waterfall Methodist Church Westfield Farming Estate CC t/ a THT / Timber Haulage Trust Willy Miller Bridget Young
Staff contact details CEO
Finance and HR
Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust 26 Old Main Road P.O. Box 2474, Hillcrest 3650 Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa
Tel: (031) 765 5866 Email: email@example.com
Visit us on the web at: www.hillcrestaids.org.za HIV Counselling & Testing
Follow us on: Childrenâ€™s Programme and Linda Chule Home-Based Care
Marketing & Fundraising
Nursing and Respite Unit
Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust
@Hillcrest_AIDS General contact and all other matters:
All of HACT's news and stories from the second quarter of 2015!