The Diocesan Programme for the support of people
with HIV/AIDS in Gauteng and Mpumalanga Provinces of South Africa.
The programme consists of:
Training and Education for and by
Communities affected by HIV/AIDS
Projects offering home based care within communities and support to
Building awareness among workers, business and other groups
of the issues around HIV
Pastoral support to self help groups and individuals who are living
The Diocese covers an area
larger than Belgium – mostly rural, with many urban areas around mines and
heavy industrial plants. The HIV programme has been running for four years,
developing from a special Diocesan Advisory Committee established by the
Bishop in 1996. The DACC oversees the programme co-ordination and
ensures that ecumenical links and projects are established where possible.
All the work
benefits people in the area, regardless of religion, gender, age, race,
beliefs or economic status. Inevitably HIV affects the poorest people, and
these are the main beneficiaries of the programme throughout the whole
region. Some 4 million people live in the area.
Main elements of the
Training and education make
up a large part of the budget and time spent on HIV. An excerpt below from
the latest report from Lynne Coull, the Diocesan Co-ordinator, gives an
overview of the work. Training courses are aimed at all groups including
young people, covering basic information about HIV, advanced information for
peer educators, home based care training, and counselling.
There are five main home
based care centres which the Diocese is supporting at present: Tsepho-Hope
Centre, Tsakane (near Midrand); Kwaze-Kwasa Women’s Project, in Thokoza
(near Alberton); Tembisa; St Francis Care Home, Boksburg,
and a rural programme covering Eerstehoek, Mayflower, and Fernie (far east
regions of Mpumalanga Province, near the border with Swaziland).
Visits to schools,
workplaces, church groups etc take place as time allows. Increasingly these
visits can be undertaken by people who have attended the HIV education
Pastoral support for
individuals, families and self help groups keeps Lynne in touch with day to
day concerns and issues for people affected by HIV/AIDS.
What the money can achieve
approximately £100 per person per year to offer adult home-based care or
support to a child headed household through our projects.
A bursary for a child
orphaned by HIV for a year’s schooling is £70.
All grants go directly to the
projects via the Diocesan Trust and are audited independently, and
consolidated within the Dicoesan Annual Report and Accounts.
via the Bishop Simeon Trust are audited in the same way, although additional
benefit can be gained through gift aid tax relief.
Southern Africa faces a crisis of unimaginable
proportions brought about by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In South Africa, half
the sexually active population are estimated to be infected in some parts of
the country. The disease is expected to result in a 50% death rate among
people aged 15-30 in the next 5 years if the epidemic is not brought under
40% of children are estimated to be living in child-headed households by
2005. Employers are investing in new health care management programmes for
their employees, including anti-retroviral treatments, to offset the cost of
skilled labour loss from HIV related deaths. 4 million people will have
died from HIV related illness by 2008 on current projections. Child
mortality will reach infant mortality levels by 2005 (from 20 per 1000 to 60
Life expectancy will fall from 60 to
38 years between 2000 and 2010.
There are numerous social, political, cultural and
economic factors affecting the HIV pandemic in the region. The main ones
are: low status of women and male dominance in sexual and economic
relations; sexual abuse, particularly young girls; historic and current
separation of families resulting from apartheid and the migrant labour
system; in turn this results in multiple sexual partners accepted or
encouraged, and high use of sex workers due to single-sex quarters at the
workplace; cultural resistance to the
use of condoms; high rates of other STD’s compared with other
countries; high levels of poverty and other inequalities eg health access
and education. Stigma about HIV is also a barrier to reaching the most
vulnerable, including those already infected