Administering hope and relief to those who are suffering
Amidst the increasing prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the community of Lillydale, the local clinic identified the need for support networks. In order to avoid stigmatisation of HIV/AIDS patients, rather than set up a group, a vegetable garden was created. The vegetable garden was open to HIV/AIDS affected individuals, along with other vulnerable people. It created the opportunity for contact with clinic staff, as well as peers, to talk and share worries, all the while gaining access to vegetables to improve their nutritional intake. The ladies who tended the garden, and discussed issues that faced their community, decided to set up a Home-based Care Group. The intention of the group was to provide door-to-door visits to child headed families, very sick HIV/AIDS patients and elderly people with no support at home.
Africa Foundation was approached by the clinic, to support with funding the construction of a meeting / counselling room, to be added to the home-based care project.
A proposal was put together, and Lillydale Home-based Care Centre was constructed in 2012, thanks to the generosity of Africa Foundation donors.
Consisting of the centre itself, along with Enviro Loo’s and a borehole providing access to water on site, Africa Foundation also provided access to first aid training for the volunteers working there.
Today the home-based care programme is run through the centre. Within the venue over 300 orphans and vulnerable children receive a hot meal, homework assistance and emotional care and support. The centre also provides a link between these children and social workers. An extensive garden has been developed, producing a valuable supply of nutritious vegetables.
From the centre, house visits are made to people too sick to attend the clinic, and their medicines are taken to them. During these visit the carers also clean the homes and assist the family with any practical needs.
The construction of the centre served to formalise a community led initiative, and enabled the carers to reach a larger number of vulnerable community members. It has also allowed the programme to be officially recognised by the Department of Social Development and other funding partners for additional support; the perfect example of how collaborative working so effectively uplifts and empowers communities.