Reaching out to children in the North West
Priscilla Rakhetsi of the SACBC AIDS Office visited Tsibogang, Mahikeng and its Zeerust subsite, and filed this report.
Khunotshwane sub site has 158 children registered in the programme and eight child care workers providing services to the children. The following are activities provided to children, namely: homework assistance, HIV prevention education, sports, Bible study, support group for both HIV positive and negative children. The children come to the centre four times week from Monday to Thursday. The Khunotshwane sub site has a total of seven children who are HIV positive ranging between the ages of 5years and 16 years old. The challenges faced by the project are that of the seven children who are HIV positive only two are aware of their HIV/AIDS status and also the parents are not willing to give their children’s documents to child care workers thinking that the carers will benefit from their children’s social grants.
Emmanuel sub site has a total of 130 children registered in the programme and seven child care workers providing services to children. The following are some of the activities provided to children: nutritional education, life skills, peer education, gardening, home visits, adherence support, health talks and monitoring of school performance of the children. The children come to the centre four times a week. The site has seven HIV positive children. The Emmanuel sub site work closely with Mmabana Cultural Centre peer educators. This relationship has enabled the site to conduct peer education sessions once a week. They also have a good relationship with the local schools where recently the child care workers identified two children aged 17 year and 18 years. The 17 year old girl is in grade 6 and the 18 year old is a grade 5 boy. Both the children are struggling to read and write. The child care workers managed to refer those two children to a special school in Coligny, North West province. The Tsibogang sub sites have recently conducted a peer review among themselves which enabled the sub sites to be evaluated by external child care workers from other sub sites. They conduct home visits to talk to both parents and children to confirm when last they were visited by the carer in charge of that particular household and what services were provided to them. The only challenge experienced by the site is that their local clinic does not want to sign the Tsibogang referral letter, it only accept the DoH referral form which is only used by those received a training from DoH.
Borakalalo sub site has a total of 162 children registered in the programme and nine child care workers. This sub site does not have a centre where they meet with children. They only provide services to children during home visits which happens from after school when children are at home. The child care workers have tried their best to get a venue but they are not winning since the local schools are not interested to offer a place.
The project acquired German funding from which they managed to build another classroom at Rebaone centre.
SABC donated chairs and shelves to Tsibogang project which they distributed to their different sub sites to be used during the after school care programme.
Department of Agriculture donated 60 mattresses and 60 blankets and pillow cases.
On the 4th October 2014, Orearabetsi sub site hosted HIV/AIDS awareness from which 161 children benefited. This event was enhanced by different activities such as gumboot dance, drama, traditional dance, peer education session on HIV/AIDS and a session on child abuse.