St Kizito, Qwa Qwa, Bethlehem Diocese, 23 March 2012

St Kizito, Qwa Qwa, Bethlehem Diocese, 23 March 2012

Avie Cherrington of the SACBC AIDS Office visited the ST KIZITO, QWAQWA, BETHLEHEM DIOCESE (FREE STATE) Orphans and Vulnerable Children project on 23 March 2012, and met with Johannes (project co-ordinator) and Tumelo (OVC Co-ordinator & M&E officer.) She filed this report:

Staff changes: Two care givers (Dineo and Sara) have left St Kizito to assist the Diocese to set up a multi-purpose centre in Phuthaditjhaba. Everyone was sad to lose these ladies, but realise that it is a wonderful growth opportunity for them. To replace these ladies they have accepted Thabo in a permanent position (he was previously on a three month contract sitting in for a care giver on maternity leave). They also introduced me to the other new care-giver Tebogo, who was an OVC in the programme. He recently completed a 3-year BA degree in Psychology and will be a great asset to the Centre. The administrator / finance officer also left at the end of February as he got a job with an organisation that oversees the local municipality’s accounts.

Peer Education: Tumelo says that a few years ago someone from the Witbank Diocese conducted Education for Life workshops which they then did with the children. However, the care-givers have changed since then and they are very keen on doing the training again. St Elizabeth staff (in Reitz) were also discussing this; perhaps the two Centres could be combined for training. They are keen on that and said that they would provide accommodation for the participants and facilitator.

Campaigns: In March they did a TB awareness day where guests from the clinic and LoveLife spoke to the children and families about preventing TB and about its treatment.
Food gardens: In March they bought some seeds for some of the OVC to do food gardens. Some of the care givers showed them how to prepare the area and plant. So they are keeping an eye on this project to see how it works.

As the water shortage has been sorted out by the municipality, the food gardens are starting to do well. Johannes is concerned about the coming winter and I asked him to get costs on shade nets to protect the area. He is also keen on growing flowers as there are several churches and lodges in the area which use fresh flowers and these are only available from the local Checkers. I asked him to investigate what it takes to grow flowers.

OVC Houses: Johannes is grateful that Sibonakhaliso from the SACBC AIDS Office came to visit and assisted them with the financial matters. One house is completed and the handover was done during Sibonakhaliso’s visit. Another two houses are also complete and they will be doing the formal handover to the children by the 28 March. One house is half way (up to window level) and the other is only at foundation level. Johannes assures me that they will be completing both of these in the next 2 weeks.

Park Home: Is connected and almost completed, they still need to complete the skirtings and connect the electricity. I asked Johannes to let us know when everything is completed to his satisfaction. They have used up the space very nicely, with a training area, an office for the M&E person and a library and computer room. They will also be using the kitchen for income generating activities for primary care-givers in the community.

St Kizito Children’s Programme’s application to the Ackerman Foundation was approved and they will be receiving money to purchase various items such as two marquees and chairs for hiring out, a jojo tank and other items for the food gardens and various office expenses. They are thrilled to be getting these funds and very excited about starting these activities for the Project and community members. They were also donated sewing machines and printers and seem to be getting more confident in building networks and writing proposals.

They also formed a relationship with the local PEP store who has donated DVDs and books for the library as well as clothes and baby items for the Project.