Monthly Archive:March 2015

ByRoland

School uniform donated to hundreds of children across KZN

More than 100 primary and high school learners benefited enormously in the partnership between the Federated Employers’ Mutual Assurance Company (FEM) and the AIDS Foundation of South Africa (AFSA).  School uniforms were handed over to more than 100 children from 23-27 March 2015.

School uniform to the value of over R50 000 was donated to 20 schools across the KwaZulu Natal province in schools situated in the deep rural areas of  Nquthu and Ingwavuma. The schools and learners were identified by the members of the community, teachers and partner Community Based Organisation (Nquthu AIDS Committee) (Zisize Educational Trust). These organisations are playing a crucial role in uplifting impoverished communities.

Children from disadvantaged backgrounds in need were prioritised on the issuing of uniforms of which it is a basic necessity for school going children.

The AIDS Foundation’s team working on a Child Protection Programme is making sure that all children live a life free from all forms of violence, are protected, and thrive in a safe, caring, school environment. The team Led by the mayor of Nquthu Municipality Ermili Molefe, visited the schools to hand over the parcels to learners with each receiving a pair of school shoes, socks, pants, jerseys and school shirt.

Presenting the uniform to learners, Ms Nothile Ndhlovu programme coordinator for the AIDS Foundation SA and Mayor Ermili Molefe encouraged the learners to focus all their energy on their studies and that they stay away from criminal activities. “We are fortunate enough to benefit from the AIDS Foundations initiative and we therefore give thanks to the Foundation for bringing hope to a brighter future for our children and children of South Africa at large” Molefe said.

The Mayor also urged teachers of all schools visited to ensure that learners are well equipped with knowledge and the risks/dangers of unprotected sex and are well educated with majors that they should take to prevent the spread of HIV.

ByRoland

AFSA is donating school uniforms to more than 100 children

The AIDS Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) with the support from the Federated Employers’ Assurance Company (FEM) is donating school uniforms to children in need. AFSA’s team working on the Child Protection and Well-Being programme implemented in partnership with two Community Based Organisations (CBO’s) based in the rural areas of Umkhanyakude and Nquthu Municipality have identified more than 198 children from various schools in the KwaZulu Natal (kzn) province to benefit from the programme.

It is the programmes goal to make sure all children live a life free from all forms of violence, are protected in conflicts and disasters, and thrive in a safe, caring, school and family environment.

On the 23rd of March 2015 the team visited two schools, Themba primary school located at Kwasobabili (Estcourt) and Emmaus primary school where more than 40 children were handed over full kit of school gear including shoes and jerseys.

Twenty school children from the 21 selected primary schools are to be handed their parcels throughout the week until Friday 27th of March 2015.

ByRoland

SRHR Learning and Sharing Conference 2015

The AIDS Foundation of South Africa Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights programme (SRHR) will be hosting its first Learning and Sharing Conference this year 2015. The conference will take place in Durban at the Balmoral Hotel (beachfront) from 25-27 March 2015. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Realising Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Post 2015‘.

The conference aims to share experiences and knowledge on the complexities of making SRHR real in South Africa. Partnered Community Based Orgainisations (CBO’s) and NGO’s working in the programmes of sexual and reproductive health rights will make part of the conference and an estimated number of 80+ delegates are expected for the three-day conference. The KwaZulu Natal MEC for health: Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo (TBC) will be among other guests to enlighten and share information on sexual and reproductive health and associated rights for the people of South Africa.

The expected outcomes for the conference are:

  • To understand how gender, sexuality and marginalisation influence access to health rights;

Focusing on LGBTI groups, women and children, people living with disabilities and other marginalised groups

  • To explore advocacy mechanism to achieve the realisation of SRHR in Southern Africa;

Developing regional partnerships in varying political and legislative contexts

  • To understand how cultural beliefs and practices affect sexual and reproductive health-seeking behavior; 

Focused on initiation and traditional circumcision, early marriages, forced marriages and widowhood

We also cordially invite the news journalists to be part of the conference as this will cover issues that would be of interest to the media and public at large:

1.  LGBTI descriminalisation in Southern African countries

South Africa, the only country in Africa where inclusivity of LGBTI persons and same sex marriages are constitutional, must take a lead in the descriminalisation of LGBTI persons in South Africa.  Everyone is entitled to equal rights and freedom and as such the AIDS Foundation of South Africa under the SRHR programme has developed regional partnerships to promote the realisation of LGBTI rights in Southern Africa. This conference brings these partners together to learn, share and collaborate with each other to prioritize these rights on post 2015 development goals.

2.  AFSA is playing an incremental role to bridge the gap between traditional male circumcision and medical male circumcision in South Africa. Many initiates die in the bush each season due to lack of effective post-operative care, which makes their surgery susceptible to infection. AFSA has successfully overcome the cultural patriarchal challenges which made it taboo for traditional surgeons and biomedical professionals to collaborate, AFSA has also been successful in overcoming the taboo where women could not engage with traditional leaders and/or surgeons. These will contribute to the reduction of mortality of initiates in the country. these issues will be addressed at the 2015 Learning and Sharing Conference.

For more infomation contact Justine van Rooyen on 031 2772 735 or justine@aids.org.za or Roland Vilane on o31 2772 709/ 076 1382 955 media@aids.org.za

ByRoland

Amabutho programme

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The programme was initiated by the AIDS Foundation of South Africa through Community Based Organisation’s (CBO’s) to which the foundation is providing funding and technical support. In 2013 the Aids Foundation of South Africa conducted a round of men’s dialogue on the theme “Protection of Women and Children From violence”.  It was clear from the deliberations at these dialogues that the absence of fathers was deemed to have a long term and often negative impact on the life of the boy child in particular, influencing to a great extent the nature of man the boy grows to become. Similarly fathers who though present in the lives of their children are negative role models to their children on manhood and treatment of woman and children as a man, and participation or extent thereof in the consumption of alcohol and other drugs, extra marital relationships, and violence against women and children among other things. The dialogues presented a clear case for the empowerment not only for the girl child, but also the boy child which in part was viewed as early intervention in the prevention of violence against women and children through grooming boys to positive aspiration of manhood.

It was said that in the olden days AMABUTHO (Warriors) were groomed in their camps not only for war, but also how they should be leaders in their families, and their community. The absence of AMABUTHO practice in modern day KwaZulu-Natal, or its limited practice if at all, is suggested by some traditional leaders to account for the rise in child and women abuse.

Following the dialogue the AIDS Foundation of South Africa began to work with Nquthu Aids Committee and Zisize Educational Trust on the design of AMABUTHO pilots to address or groom boys between the ages of 8 and 17 years positively toward being healthy men with dignity.

The programme addresses the following issues:

  • Drugs
  • Abuse and violence
  • Living healthy lifestyle
  • Personal development (which include self-esteem)
  • Theft
  • Caring (yourself and others)
  • Leadership skills
  • And all other social ills

In May 2014 a three days camp was conducted; the camp was facilitated by Traditional leadership of the Ingwavuma area.

The programme was officially launched on the 5th December 2014. These events coincided with the day the former President of the Republic of South Africa; Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela died.

About 16 groups of AMABUTHO were launched with the total of 309 young men participating in the programme. So far the groups are divided into two “IBUTHO LIKA QOPHUMLANDO” and IBUTHO LIKA KUSHIYAN’UKWENZA” These groups presented themselves in their own unique ways representing their respective areas. This included traditional hymns, poems, traditional dance. Local youth groups were also part of the event presenting their talents.

Over and above that boys were also given advice by different speakers that were considered to be role models in the society. Different types of traditional food ranging from-inkobe, izindlubu, inyama yangaphakathi, umdokwe, izinkukhu ezibilisiwe, isigwaqane/imbumbe, isibindi, utshwala besintu, izinhloko zenkomo and ujeqe was given to participants for lunch.

The launch was attended by approximately 800 people attended the launch. Stakeholder participation included KZN legislature, Office of the Premier, Provincial Men’s forum, Government Departments, Local Mayor, Traditional leadership, Non-Profit Organisations, Faith Based Organisations and community members. The programme is planned to be spread across the province of KZN.