One Thousand kilometres from Hamburg to Cape Town
HIV and AIDS – We are all in it together …
We are riding from Hamburg in the Eastern Cape Province to Cape Town:
- To connect the needs of a rural service with resources in a city
- To symbolise a link between sister enterprises: The Keiskamma Trust
(www.keiskamma.org) and the Kidzpositive Family Fund (www.kidzpositive.org)
- To demonstrate solidarity between Non-Profit Organisations that work to foster hope for the most vulnerable, strive to address widespread poverty and disease and raise support for the daily needs of children and families affected by HIV and AIDS.
Both The Keiskamma Trust and Kidzpositive have developed holistic and creative programmes to care for the populations they serve:
The Keiskamma Health project delivers care to an after-care centres and delivering excellent care to orphans and vulnerable children.
|Resources at Mgababa||Kitchen at Lover’s Twist|
You need to pay a visit to appreciate how the children at the Lover’s Twist OVC centre enjoy their play.
Sometimes there are so many children to feed that additional resources must be mobilised.
|Stove Lover’s Twist||an extra pot|
Kidzpositive partners Nazareth House (Cape Town), Home from Home, Thembacare and Beautiful Gate (www.beautifulgate.org) in providing shelter, health care and anti-retroviral therapy for OVCs.
The Keiskamma Trust has established the Keiskamma Music academy. This is a tremendous success. Members of the Academy are doing very well in their exams and are gaining high praise at local Eisteddfods.
|Practising the Pachelbel Canon||Siphelo|
The music academy demonstrates a wide definition of an holistic approach to community upliftment. Children are not only playing beautiful music: Their school attendance and academic performance have also improved.
Kidzpositive is actively engaged in developing resources, services and activities for adolescents with HIV/AIDS. This is a challenging, exciting and often surprising project.
The Keiskamma Art Project has gained world-wide acknowledgement. Its altar-pieces have travelled the world and its tapestries hang in the South African parliament buildings. As a successful income-generating project it gives work to more than 100 indigent rural women. The Africa wall hangings depicted here are destined for auction in London. One will soon be hanging at St Cyprian’s School in Cape Town.
The Positive Beadwork project provides an income generating opportunity for more than 130 women at GSH, the False Bay Hospital and TC Newman Hospital in Paarl to put food on the table. The PB project sells beadwork on all five continents (and in Iceland), in many cases through the Round Square conference of schools (www.roundsquare.org).
|SA flag on the loom||Beadwork bracelet|
Dr Carol Baker: Founder and Director of the Keiskamma Trust:
“My husband and I moved to the Eastern Cape in 2000. We were both doctors but I was not then practising medicine but was planning to make my own art work and live peacefully in Hamburg. I was confronted by the poverty in this community and it became impossible to enjoy the beauty of the place without in some way addressing this.
So I embarked on a journey that began as an insignificant embroidery project. The project grew and I was persuaded to work in the local clinic and began work in 2001. There was no health aspect to the art and embroidery project then. I still had simple aims of involving all the people I know with skills and money to help this community. It could have failed but it was miraculously successful. I had advice from people in development and we formed a NGO involving about 50 members from the local Xhosa community.
Facing the high rate of infection with HIV/AIDS, we started an health initiative within the NGO. This health programme, which started with a few friends providing ARVS for people in Hamburg, grew large and became, through necessity, an advocate for TB and HIV care in the little village of Hamburg and up to 70 km or more surrounding the village. This is how the Keiskamma Trust was established in 2002 and grew as a compassionate organization integrating more of the needs of the local community.
Today, the Keiskamma Trust promotes health and hope through art, music, HIV/AIDS treatment, poverty alleviation projects and education initiatives.”
Dr Paul Roux: Co-founder and Chair of the Kidzpositive Family Fund
“I am a Paediatrician working at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. In the course of the 1990’s our children’s ward began admitting more and more patients with HIV and AIDS. We set up a clinic to provide care for these children, because existing resources were insufficient. We soon noticed that just being there for the children and their mothers meant a great deal. As we became more familiar with the plight of affected families, a group of us understood that the burden of a mother with an HIV-infected child is often impossible to bear alone. So we set up an NGO which we called Kidzpositive, to indicate our intention to make a positive difference in the lives of affected families. Through a generous donation from the One to One Children’s Fund, a UK-based charity, we were able start an anti-retroviral treatment programme for children and their mothers in May 2002. Experience enabled us to assist and train colleagues in Sub-Saharan Africa and this resulted in the establishment of another NGO called Paediatric AIDS Treatment for Africa (PATA). It was through PATA that we began forging links with the Keiskamma Trust and its projects.
Our Groote Schuur Hospital Paediatric HIV/AIDS Service has been able to develop as a source of quality of primary health care with a dedicated team of nurses, pharmacist, counsellors, dieticians, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist and doctors. We have extended our team’s activities into the townships, where their work is much appreciated. We have enjoyed great success with our Positive Beadwork Project, which started out more with high hopes and optimism than business acumen. Thanks to excellent staff and world-wide support this project now helps more than 130 families to put food on the table.
Our children are thriving on their anti-retrovirals and we are now engaged in the interesting task of developing models of care for our increasing number of teenagers.”
…HIV and AIDS, we’re all in it together. How can you help us to help others?