"The project has contributed to changing my life and my expectations."
This is the number of HIV-positive mothers that live in the township of East London, South Africa with access to the primary health care services at the Community Centre.
Estimated girls & women affected
This is the number of residents in the area we serve, who indirectly benefit from our program.
Estimated community members affected
With your support, our project has been implemented in the East London area of Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The overall objective of the project has been to positively contribute to the improvement of the health status and livelihoods of these South African communities. The specific objective of the project was to improve the livelihoods of HIV affected children and their families in ward 11 Vergenoeg, ward 26 Newlands, and ward 32 Tsalumnqa in the urban and peri-urban suburbs of East Londo, South Africa. The project has targeted 500 HIV-positive mothers and 10,000 marginalized people in the communities. The grant has supported two components of a wider program:
- Health, nutrition and education: the project has contributed to the construction of a community centre with a medical facility, and provided equipment and teaching facilities for a pre-school.
- Local economic development:this component aims at building capacities targeting HIV positive women in order to ultimately improve their and their families’ livelihoods. The focus of the training was micro-enterprise creation such as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and cooperatives.
"The project has contributed to changing my life and my expectations." - Sipho.
Risks and challenges
No relevant risks or challenges occurred worth particular mention. There was great participation of the local community, especially concerning the construction of the pilot centre. They committed themselves to the project and realized that the demolition of the previous structure was necessary since it was obsolete, inaccessible, and lacking in the minimum requirements for kids and people to access. The professionalism of the local contractor allowed for the project to be complete in good time. The local staff of Oxfam facilitated the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders which eventually formed a strong team able to achieve successful results.
What we’ve learned
Through our work with this project we learned the following:
- The importance to strengthen the technical skills and abilities of the targeted groups by trainings. The participants increased their competencies in starting-up potential businesses, providing them a reinforced asset for income generation.
- In the long term, the importance to stress the resilience of communities living in the communities, which will benefit from the increased representativeness of their socio-economic interests. The targeted beneficiaries will increase their income contributing to the wealth of the area.
The project will continue and will be active through November of 2015. The main activities will be: to provide women who participated in our professional training with access to a micro-credit fund to support their enterprise; and to complete the community centre and offer basic health services with special reference to HIV prevention and treatment.
Amount spent so far
Community center construction
Professional training course x 500
Materials for pre-school
Videos and online resources in Italian language are available with regard to the wider program, namely:
- The videos are being edited and translated. Published by La Stampa (Italian press): http://www.lastampa.it/2013/10/23/multimedia/scienza/ambiente/speciali/fondi-cooperazione-sviluppo/reportage1/un-asilo-offgrid-r3mlEmHSPOULUCnghh80uO/pagina.html
From the cradle to maternity against HIV
In Tsolomnqa, everything is ready for the construction of the new pilot centre. In collaboration with the local community, the previous structure was demolished since it was definitely inaccessible and without the minimum requirements for kids and people to access. The local engineer and his team prepared the land and placed the first brick.
30 Thirty kids from zero to five years old will soon enjoy the pre-school activities and they will be provided balanced meals prepared by the women in the equipped kitchen of the centre. There will be also a dedicated space offering medical services. The Centre is expected to be functioning by April 2014. Fifteen people were trained on the basics of business start-up including a vocational training in sewing and they received a kit of tools to encourage them to pursue their own business. Two pre-school centers were equipped in Msobommvu and Nombasa with: a stove, a fridge, shelves, books, theatre, mirror, and furniture made of natural wood, sized suitably for kids.
Risks and challenges
No particular risks and challenges are foreseen. It We needs to highlight the great participation of the local community, in particular way concerning the construction of the pilot centre: the community committed themselves and have already realized the demolition ofshed the previous structure since it was obsolete, inaccessible and lacking in the minimum requirements for kids and people to access. The professionalism of the local constructor allowed the for good timing in the construction works. The local staff of Oxfam facilitated the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders which eventually formed a strong team able to achieve successful results.
A woman from the targeted community says: “When I found out to be HIV positive, I started the treatment at Oxfam health centers. My son was then born HIV negative, when the nurse informed me I was very happy. The future of my daughters? When they will grow, I will bring them to the Oxfam health centre to get trained on HIV protection.”
Since the project funded by Catapult is envisaged in a wider programme funded by the Ministry of Italian foreign affairs, there are other interventions planned in order to reinforce the center. The construction will be equipped with an off-grid technology to achieve the complete environmental sustainability of the structure with a photovoltaic installation and a wind turbine combined with a system of rainwater harvesting and wastewater treatment.
The institutional and political framework of the project and the partners ensure continuity as well as practical and political support to the intervention. The involvement of groups of women in income-generating activities will increase their contribution to the economy of their households and will favor positive relationships among and within the communities, diminishing fragmentation and increasing cohesion.
Articles published by
La Stampa (Italian press), Oct. 23, 2013:
Help to give a full and safe life to HIV–positive mothers and their children in the township of East London, South Africa.
Why we care: Poverty is the largest barrier many mothers affected by HIV in the township of East London face in accessing anti-retroviral treatments.
How we’re solving this: Building a community centre to help mothers gain professional training, access regular medical care and live a full and safe life with their children.
South Africa has the world's largest number of people living with HIV—an estimated 5.5 million of the country's 48 million people have the virus—and a person is infected with HIV every eight seconds.
Many young women in East London discover they are HIV positive while they are pregnant. To manage the progress of HIV, these mothers and their children are supposed to be on antiretrovirals medicines. However, the treatment is not always available at the local clinic, and the high cost of transportation is just one of the barriers to accessing the medication.
Oxfam has been supporting mothers in the East London community for some time by offering women build job skills and access a small microcredit fund to start small businesses. We have also supported the local school provide health facilities to care for HIV-positive children and their mothers.
For these mothers and their children access to regular medical care does not simply mean entitlement to a basic human right, but also having a future and the ability to contribute to the growth of the community.
But we can’t stop here!
Through this project, we need your help to complete the construction of the community centre and the medical facility that is estimated to be accessed by 10,000 citizens, including HIV positive mothers and their children. Also, we would like provide professional training courses for 500 more women and purchase equipment and teaching material the local pre-school.
This is our challenge: Give a better future to mothers, in the Township on East London.