24 years have passed since the end of apartheid in 1994. South Africa’s economy has been getting more powerful, including joining BRICS and G20. On the other hand, the gap between the rich and the poor is getting widen, and it has many social problems such as poverty, high unemployment rate, and inequality. These problems especially affect the younger generation. It is reported that two-thirds of the children aged between zero and fourteen are under poor living conditions and the unemployment rate is no less than 50% for the youth aged between 15 and 34. These situations directly connect with other social problems such as the spread of HIV/AIDS, which is referred to as the worst in the world, the loss of educational opportunity, and crimes. We should conduct activities to cut the negative chain of problems that have spanned for generations.
Participatory HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care, and Support for People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) (Limpopo Province)
JVC continued the project in partnership with community-based organizations operated by mothers, “Light of Mercy Community Care (LMCC)” and “Tshirunzanani HBC.” The fiscal year of 2017 is the end of this five-year project. We carried out the planned activities and conducted project evaluation in August.
Supporting Children Who Need Care
JVC continued to work in two villages where we carried out the project together with drop-in centers (DICs) operated by LMCC. The DICs cater to children who live under difficult conditions due to their family environments, such as being orphans. After the fiscal year of 2016, JVC aimed to develop the children’s potential and confidence by considering the children not only as those who receive care but those who act on their own will for the future. In particular, we helped teenagers to participate in local activities including training sessions on the prevention of HIV/AIDS, leadership, and home vegetable gardens. It produced achievements like behavior changes which lead to prevention of HIV.
In 2017, we focused on monitoring and follow up in order to establish the achievements which had been produced till 2016. We also organized training sessions on HIV/ AIDS for 60 youths who recently joined DICs after hearing about its reputation. We also held training and monitoring sessions on home vegetable gardening, in which about 80 youths participated, including newcomers.
In the evaluation, we confirmed our objectives were achieved almost in accordance with our initial plan. We established a support system for youth activities by care volunteers and a peer education system among youths. The project also leaded behavior changes (improving their attitude for living and learning, starting an awareness raising campaign, preventative actions on HIV/AIDS, and so on). The practice of home vegetable gardening was firmly established as well. People in the local community such as school teachers, parents, and village leaders trusted DICs because of these achievements. The number of cases increased where DICs gave advice or solved problems. We confirmed that a system to support children was established in the community under the leadership of DICs.
Home Vegetable Gardening Training
PLWHAs have to take medicines which often have strong side effects. To bear the effects, they are required to take enough food, but some of them have no food at home and lose their lives. JVC aims to improve the food security for villagers including these vulnerable PLWHAs and continues teaching home gardening. JVC started training activities in late 2014 in four areas of a village where Tshirunzanani is active. We confirmed in 2016 that the participants in the training successfully producing food in the garden by themselves throughout the year. We noticed that gardening is difficult in an area with a dry season spanning more than 6 months, so we organized training sessions on effective usage of water in June. We continued monitoring in order to make their practice established.
When evaluating the project’s results in August, we confirmed vegetable home gardening was firmly established. We also found that twenty ex-trainees exchanged knowledge by mutually visiting gardens, learning from each other, and consequently solving problems in their practice. Additionally, we confirmed that the trainee’s practice began to expand to other residents, guaranteeing the sustainability and the ripple effect of the project.
According to the evaluation, we confirmed with the participants in our activities that our purposes were fully realized in the project areas. Consequently, we will start a project with a new partner in order to transfer these experiences to the neighboring areas.
[Source: JVC Annual Report 2017]Share This: