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Ilitha – A Flicker of Hope

In the surroundings of East London (Eastern Cape, South Africa), many unskilled migrant workers find themselves and their families stranded in informal settlements and trapped in poverty. They come from the Traskei and other rural isi-Xhosa speaking regions – in search of work. What they find is an occasional piece job, maybe some work on a farm – but their wages are meagre. And theri living conditions are dismal. The economic downturn of the country under president Zuma has turned into a severe crisis – which hits those at the bottom by far the hardest. HIV prevalence is generally high in Eastern Cape and regionally it is way above the average. Many of those living around Gonubi Farms Hall are heavy drinkers – adding another spin to the vicious circle of poverty.

Nkwezana Primary school is said to be the best school in the region – because the teachers are actually there each and every day. The 700-pupil school awaits new construcitons as it is desperately overpopulated. A dedicated team of sixteen teachers and a extraordinary principal run the school as best as they can. Despite all their efforts, they turn out anaphabetics incapable of even the most basic calculations, reading or writing skills. Dysfunctional homes means parents without manners or education not caring for their children in every aspect oft he word. There is only so much, a school can do when confronted with this.

This is why the Aids & Child Foundation joins hands with the local authorities, farmers and other employers , schools, churches, the mobile clinic and students of Fort Hare Unviersity to imporve the lives oft he children in this community. Although our mandate lies with the HIV/Aids affected, this is a context to deliberately cause a spillover effect into the broader community. Parenting trainings, the repeated closure of illegal drinking holes, the bringing in of alcohol abuse sepcialists, regular household visits, accessible psycho social support, an extended sports programme for the children/youths, monthly health checks for the children, a nutritious breakfast at the school, trainings in proper manners for the little ones, tuition and help with homework are just some of the things we will start to implement come 2018.

Goals

  • Improved parenting and relationship between guardians and their children
  • Improved health and wellbeing of poverty stricken and HIV affected households
  • Improved school attendance and performance in Nkwezana Priamry School
  • Improved economic resilience of poverty stricken and HIV/Aids affected households

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This information will be available by December 2017