More than 20 years have passed since the end of apartheid in 1994. Yet the unemployment rate among the black population is still high at 60% and inequality is widening. Additionally, 12% of the South Africans are infected with HIV and more than 600 lives are lost daily to AIDS. With the introduction of free ARVs in public health facilities in 2004, People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) live longer and healthier lives. The perception of HIV as a disease leading to immediate death has changed, affecting the way we address HIV.
JVC continued the Project on Participatory HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care, and Support for PLWHA, in partnership with local NGOs, Light of Mercy Community Care (LMCC) and Tshirunzanani HBC. Following the evaluation results at the end of the three year project period (2012-15), JVC decided to extend the project into 2016, in order to ensure the sustainability of project impact.
1. Training for Home-Based Carers (HBCs)
HBCs support PLWHAs, who are often left isolated, by visiting them daily at home. Since 2014, JVC focused on its partnership with Tshirunzanani HBC and provided training. There are reported cases of improvement seen in the care given by the HBC volunteers.
2. Home Vegetable Garden Training
By teaching the community on home-gardening, JVC aims to improve food security for the vulnerable including PLWHAs. The JVC-trained garden facilitators with LMCC are now able to give advice to their trainees. As a result, 64 people out of 84 trained by the facilitators are continuing their gardens. With Tshirunzanani, JVC identified three potential facilitators who are young people in their 20-30s’, and focused on building their capacity. Besides them, 80 out of 132 people who received training from JVC are continuing to have vegetable gardens.
3. Child Care Volunteer Training
JVC continues to work with LMCC child care volunteers from three drop- in centers (DIC). As a result of the continued training and improvement of activities, there are increasing numbers of children attending the DICs. In one of the centers, youths took initiative and started their own study group.
4. Awareness and Peer Education on HIV/AIDS
The child care volunteers in three drop-in centers carried out awareness raising activities on topics such as HIV prevention at schools and in communities, in collaboration with local stakeholders. With Tshirunzanani, HBC volunteers organised a community campaign where more than 200 people attended and 60 people were tested for HIV.
5. Supporting PLWHA Support Groups
Two sessions of the HIV Literacy training were attended by 10-16 Support Group members. After the training, some reported improvement of their health and attitudes from learning about how HIV affected the body and how to take ARVs properly. Some participants persuaded pregnant women to go for HIV testing.Share This: