Kopano Lerato, Archdiocese of Pretoria.

The SACBC AIDS Office visited Kopano Lerato, Archdiocese of Pretoria. The programme takes care of 305 orphaned and vulnerable children, providing psychosocial services, access to health care and education services, assistance with access to identity documents and social grants, and after school care including drama, music and sports. Children are seen regularly in the after school care programme conducted at several schools.

On the day the SACBC AIDS Office  visited one grade ten schoolgirl proudly showed off her “new” identity document. Many children, possibly about a third, are from Mozambique, often undocumented.  Some of them receive food parcels on a temporary basis.

Children are assisted with immunisations, treatment adherence, disclosure issues. One of the care workers had attended the Zoe Life training in Durban, preparing her better to help children with HIV disclosure issues and treatment adherence.

Another care worker is awaiting her certificate from NACCW, having completed an accredited training as a child care worker. She has in turn been assisting in the in-service training of colleagues.

The site has a good relationship with the Department of Social development, and is active in the Child Care Forum. It is hoped that Kopano lLrato will receive an incentive grant from DSD soon.

One concern has been the number of school girls who have become pregnant. With help from a former employee of the SACBC AIDS Office they are being assisted to go back to school.

A door to door TB campaign is being planned for later in November, with the involvement of several clinics and NGOs. And a world AIDS day event is planned.