Wednesday, 19 December 2012

What a Christmas present!

It was a great day when Mercedes-Benz CSI team surprised the Art Project with beautifully wrapped fruit baskets. Thank you so much for these Christmas presents. They were much appreciated in every household.

And also thank you for your very generous support throughout the year!

Friday, 14 December 2012

2012 PATA Conference

At the beginning of December, Keiskamma Trust was again given the unique opportunity to participate in the 8th Annual PATA (Paediatric Aids Treatment for Africa) Conference. 

This year’s conference was held in Cape Town and was attended by teams from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  

Noluvo Xhotyeni, Dr. Leanne Brady, Magda Greyling and Kali Bechtold attended the conference on behalf of Keiskamma Trust and spent time discussing challenges in the cascade of care, the management of co-infections and issues surrounding HIV/AIDS disclosure.  

Noluvo Xhotyeni, Keiskamma Health Programme Manager

The Keiskamma Trust team was also given time to plan more cutting edge practical interventions for our paediatric patients based on the latest government and international guidelines. Our Keiskamma Trust/PATA team would like to thank PATA for the privilege of to be amongst colleagues who continue to provide the highest standard of paediatric care all across Africa.

Vulindlela Centre - Our first group of IT graduates!

On 12 December 2012 – some of the first group of 16 graduates received their certificates of competence in Microsoft Word and Internet from Thabang Meslane – Executive Director of Keiskamma Trust. 

 Seven of the 16 graduates with Keiskamma Trust Staff
Left to Right: Wanga Afrika, Thabang Meslane, Linda Ganto, 
Anelisa Kekezwa, Nontle Sikani, Andisiwe Nketyana, 
Nomonde Bojane, Thembakazi Phaliso, Neliswe Ngoxo 
and Nokhupumla Nameka.

Since April 75 people have started training in small groups.  Their “Misses” have been Andisiwe Nketyana (centre) and Nokhupumla Nameka (far right).  So far 16 have passed all the levels of tests.  Others are still completing their courses and tests to the final level. 

Education Programme Manager, Colette Tilley, encouraged the students to keep coming to Vulindlela to keep in practice, build their typing speeds and make use of the internet and other resources available at the centre.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Capoeira Fun Travels to Mgababa

Capoeira has been one of the activities on offer at Eva Centre, the OVC base in Lover's Twist for a year and a half; so recently the children from there showed off their talent at Bjorn Centre in Mgababa. They demonstrated various aspects of Capoeira under the supervision of their instructor, Msindisi Mva and senior group members. 

Parents & community members really enjoyed the performance and the Mgababa children didn't waste any time in trying out the new moves themselves! Hopefully Capoeira will become an activity that captures the children's imagination at Mgababa too.

The performance was initiated by Nokhanyo Nkani, coordinator of the OVC centres, a part of the Education Programme at Keiskamma Trust. Keiskamma Music Academy lent their very new bus to transport the group and Trust driver, Major Mangwane, coordinated the transport and assisted with the children. All in all, a great group effort and a productive & fun day for everyone involved!

Click HERE to view more photos.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Staff profiles - 3 of our team!

Meet Nokhanyo Nkani – OVC Programme Co-ordinator

You can sometimes find Nokhanyo Nkani bustling around her little office at the back of Vulundlela Centre; that is when she's not out on the road visiting the OVC Centres which she manages. Nokhanyo returned to Hamburg, her home village after a successful stint as Assistant Manager at Metro in Johannesburg. She wanted to use her professional skills to serve her own community.
In February 2012 she was recruited as shop keeper for the Art Project where her good leadership and management skills shone through. She soon got a feel for the diverse work there; processing orders, controlling stock, promoting in stores and attending exhibitions.
Her friendly & efficient manner led to an offer by the Education Manager to become OVC Coordinator, a busy job with three centres under her wing, making sure that they all run smoothly, and looking out especially for the orphans and most vulnerable children. Nokhanyo relates well with all the stakeholders and coordinates donations of food, toys, books and resources.
'It's very challenging work that I'm doing', she comments. 'But you just have to be yourself and take each day as it comes! We are trying to help people every day, for instance, sometimes there's a problem with their kids or food parcels or whatever and we try to sort it out. Every day brings something new and it's great to feel that I'm back here, working for my own people.'

Meet Novuyani Peyi – Art Project Co- Manager and Trustee

Novuyani Peyi is rightly proud of her qualification in Human Resources that she received in October 2012  from Damelin College. Novuyani works as Art Project Manager at Keiskamma Trust so it was quite a challenge at first to get to grips with the studying as well as sorting out transport and acccommodation. 'At first I thought I'll never manage this, but then it started to be fine and I was actually looking forward to it. Jan & Jackie,  from Keiskamma Friends UK, helped to pay for my studies, and people at the Trust were willing to help me in any way they could.  So I was very pleased when I didn't let them down and I could finally tell them that I had passed!
'I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped me do this especially Keiskamma Friends UK, everyone who wished me luck and everyone who supported and believed in me!'

Meet Nomfusi Nkani – Keiskamma  Artist & Art Project Assistant Manager

Sometimes people just meet and talk and new connections occur that you never expected! That's how it was for Nomfusi Nkani, one of our Keiskamma artists. When Carol Hofmeyr got talking to folk from  the Artist Proof Studios while at an exhibition in Cape Town and then found out that they were going to do a mural at the Steve Biko Foundation, Nomfusi was immediately interested in getting involved.

'I'd already done my own sketches about Steve Biko because I wanted to do a tapestry of his life and how it still has impact on young people today. So Artist Proof Studio invited me to submit my work and then I was really excited to get an invitation to join them in King Williamstown to be part of the team to create a huge wall painting'.

Nomfusi lights up as she talks about her experience, but she points out that it was no easy fortnight! 'The weather was apalling; we were working in the rain, and climbing scaffolding, and we were busy from 8 in the morning until 7 at night! But I got on really well with the artist and it was if I'd known him a long time'.

Nomfusi is even more keen now to secure funding to continue her reseach about Steve Biko and create her own work.' I really want to get Steve Biko's story on to tapestry and get our own people involved and feeling even more benefit from my collaboration'.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Music Exam Success

Keiskamma Music Academy is thrilled to receive stunning results for our 2012 UNISA exams!

25 students entered examinations this year in music theory or on an instrument, for a total of 53 exam entries.  Several of our senior students were able to prepare for three exams: theory, recorder, and their orchestral instrument.  While last year’s entries were mainly in music theory or on the recorder as well as one flute and two clarinet entries, we had a total of 23 theory entries and 30 instrumental examinations this year on recorder, flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, classical guitar, and piano.

We were thrilled to receive a total of 20 Distinctions and 19 Merits.  Over 70 percent of our exam entries received these honours for high marks, maintaining the high exam success rate of Keiskamma Music Academy in addition to our 100 percent pass rate.

Our instrumental students prepared for their exams with teachers Karen Mostert and Jen Hoyer in Hamburg, as well as a group of part-time orchestral teachers in Grahamstown.  We were lucky to have additional assistance from recorder teacher and harpsichordist John Reid Coulter, who joined us in Hamburg for a one-week preparation workshop and accompanied all the students for their exams.

Our theory students prepared with Elizabeth Winkelman, a Port Alfred music teacher who has been commuting to Hamburg weekly since 2011.  Elizabeth also teaches our piano and classical guitar students.  In addition to the all-around success of our theory students, we were delighted this year to see exceptionally high marks in our senior class: all three of our most senior theory students received Distinctions on their exams.

Congratulations to our students and their teachers!

Friday, 23 November 2012

French Carnival: Kids bring France to East London

'THE call of the wild, bird sounds, the beat of the African drum and soothing recorder sounds that would surely have given the Pied Piper of Hamelin a run for his money filled the Miriam Makeba Centre of Performing Arts on Saturday night when 38 young musicians gathered to celebrate the France-South Africa Seasons through a music concert called the French Carnival.
When one imagines classical music you think of the heart-wrenching sounds of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, or the sounds that made Bach, Mozart and Beethoven famous for centuries… little do we think about the French greats.
These include Claude Debussy who influenced so many classical musicians with his deep meaningful songs, Charles Camille Saint-Saëns, the Parisian-born composer and artist best known for his Carnival of Animals and of course Maurice Ravel, who, following the lead of masters such as Debussy, wrote toe-tapping classical music.
When the Keiskamma Music Academy decided to hold the French Carnival in celebration of the France-South Africa Seasons that had finally come to South Africa after many years of holding mutual seasons (multifaceted bilateral collaborations) with countries such as India, Japan, Russia and other overseas countries, little did we know that the Eastern Cape province would hold a meaningful celebration of such an event.
For the first time since the seasons came to South Africa, the Eastern Cape had finally received its chance to contribute towards this extraordinary international event.'
Click here to read more.
From the Dispatch Onling

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Franschhoek Art in Clay 2012 - featuring Keiskamma Art Project

Is art is presenting an exhibition of ceramic artist in combination with well known artist of different mediums to create 12 “installations” for the Art in Clay Exhibition.
Participating artist are:  Jenny Parson, Iwan Labuschagne, Wilma Cruise, Jacqueline Crewe-Brown, Nicolene Swanepoel, Daniela Zondagh, Helen Vaughan, Judy Woodborne, Ralph Johnson, Hannes van Zyl, Christine Gittins, Ella Lou, Evette Weyers, Christopher Smart, Christina Bryer, Rebecca Tetley, Willemien de Villiers, The Keiskamma Trust, Laura du Toit, Grainne McHugh, Wiebke von Bismarck and Nico Masemola, Charmaine Haines, Marlene von Durkheim

Start: October 27, 2012
End: November 16, 2012
Time: 9:00 - 17:00

is art gallery
Le Quartier Francais
16 Huguenot Road
Tel: 021 876 3105

Monday, 29 October 2012

Events in Canada with Keiskamma Canada Foundation

Creating Connections with Keiskamma Trust
Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 4 p.m. – a free event
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy ECHA 1-498, 11405, 87 Avenue
ART for ART silent auction and sale
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 6:30 p.m.
Doors open 6:30 p.m., silent auction 7 to 9 p.m.
Highlands Golf Club, 6603 Ada Boulevard
Tickets $25 in advance, 
780.465.1854 or
or $30 at the door

We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank our thoughtful donors and sponsors both throughout the year and for Art for Art. We always welcome your gifts of financial support, skill, and time. Thanks also to those that have purchased or inquired about Art for Art tickets. Your contributions truly make a difference in alleviating poverty and raising hope alongside the people of Keiskamma Trust.

A note from our founder, Annette Woudstra
Dear Keiskamma Canada Supporters and Friends,

Wholehearted thanks and greetings to all of you from all of us at the Trust in South Africa!  Your constant support  over the past year has again been key in many areas of our community development work, and has helped make our organization effective in our efforts to foster hope and self-reliance in the vulnerable community we live in.  Canadians have played a big role in our work in the past few years—many of you have volunteered your time and expertise to fundraise, visit, teach, and encourage us as well as to spread the work about our organization and we are truly grateful for your generosity.   

This year has brought us some tremendous opportunities as well as challenges: our health programme has received a 5 year grant from the Canadian international Development Agency, and we have been working very hard to keep up with the demands of implementing a new programme with a new funder. Our Art Project has also received some longer-term funding in the past six months, but our Education Programme is having a difficult time keeping up with the demands for services as so many children are vulnerable and in need of care.   We are increasingly alarmed at the levels of food insecurity in the villages we work in and we often struggle to help meet the most basic need for adequate and nutritional food—so important not only for children but also for people who are struggling to cope with HIV and AIDS. 

We are excited to hear that Art for Art is again taking place in November, and while I am sorry to not be able to attend this time as I will be in South Africa, I am hoping to send a personal greeting with the rest of the Keiskamma Art Project by video so that we can celebrate together this fantastic event.  Warm wishes to you for the remainder of the year and tremendous thanks for your efforts to stand in solidarity with the thousands of people in the villages of the Eastern Cape  assisted by our partnership.

Event details

CREATING CONNECTIONS WITH KEISKAMMA TRUST features Annette Woudstra, who has split her time between South Africa and Canada with her family for the past 5 years. Founder of Keiskamma Canada and general manager of Keiskamma Trust, Annette is back in Edmonton for a short visit to share stories and wisdom from the Trust.
Join us for stories from the frontlines about rural development, health, and the role of art in building resiliency in communities affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty. This is also your chance to learn more about global health projects and related activities at the University of Alberta through speakers from the Global Education Program, the Faculty of Nursing Global Nursing Office, and the School of Public Health.
Hosted by Keiskamma Canada Foundation, Keiskamma Trust, University of Alberta International Global Education Program, University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing Global Nursing Office and University of Alberta School of Public Health.
Keiskamma Trust artwork will be available for purchase and on display.
ART FOR ART is back! Set for Saturday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m., this silent auction of local and African art raises funds for Keiskamma Trust, which brings hope and healing to remote South African villages where poverty and HIV/AIDS have wiped out a generation and orphans are losing even the grandmothers who stepped into the breach.
Here’s your chance to bid on the work of 40 respected local artists and potters as well as exquisite Keiskamma Trust wall hangings. Art and crafts designed and created at the Trust by the Keiskamma Art Project, which provides income for as many as 100 households, will also be available for sale.
If you attended previous ART for ART fundraisers, you’ll recognize this evening as an opportunity to bid on original art, hear stories about the grassroots work of Keiskamma Trust and enjoy fine conversation over wine and treats. But most importantly, every dollar raised helps extend the reach of the Trust.
Co-hosted as always by Keiskamma Canada Foundation and Women of Hope, this year’s ART for ART will be held at Highlands Golf Club, where the parking is free.
Tickets are $25 in advance (780.465.1854 or, 
$30 at the door. This is also a convenient time to make cash donations, which are most welcome.


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Keiskamma Artworks are displayed at Southbank Centre (London)!

Photographs of Artworks by Pippa Hetherington
Photograph of exhibition by Jill Tate

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Another First for Music Academy – National Eisteddfod Academy!

A couple of weeks ago (September15th & 16th), we held our first Eisteddfod in Hamburg. We are grateful to Dr Francois van den Berg  and his team at the National Eisteddfod Academy for making this possible! For those who have no idea what an Eisteddfod is (or even how to pronounce it!), it is a festival of music, literature & performance dating back to 12th Century Wales! Transplanted from Welsh soil to South Africa, Eisteddfods have a rich tradition here, and thousands of these 'sessions' (the nearest translation of the Welsh word) take place at venues across the country, and beyond, each year.

In the future we hope to have visiting groups of performers perform with us, but 'small is beautiful', and this inaugural event featured only our Keiskamma Music Academy students. However, for some of the younger boys & girls it was their first nerve-wracking chance to stand up on stage and give a performance. Unlike our concerts, most of the pieces were solos, or duets, with an occasional larger ensemble piece. In all we had over 80 entries featuring a wide variety of instruments and musical styles.

Our adjudicator, Mr Neels Boonzaaier, from North West University, seemed to enjoy our music-making. Every student received a certificate, graded bronze, silver, gold or diploma. Mr Boonzaaier had told us earlier that he had to be really 'wowed' to award a diploma, but in fact, several of our students received this honour. By the end of a busy weekend, approximately 25% of entries had received diplomas, 40% gold, 25% silver and 10% bronze. Our adjudicator also gave our group lots of useful advice on how to progress our playing, in particular, to keep practising every single day!

The Eisteddfod came hard on the heels of our UNISA practical exams, so the week was a busy one for Music Academy. A big thank you is in order for Jen and Karen, our recorder teachers, who prepared us for these events.

We did not have a large audience this time; just a handful of friends and supporters popped in, and a few curious cows turned up by the door! However, as always, the surprisingly good acoustics of the Old Hall complemented the magic of the music as it drifted across Hamburg main street on a wild and windy spring afternoon.

Brenda Fishwick 

The Keiskamma Altarpiece at the Faculty of Theology (Stellenbosch)

“This remarkable piece of work is important for the Faculty of Theology because it represents hope in the midst of the socio-economic and physical realities of poverty and HIV/Aids.”
This is how Ms Lina Hoffman, Manager of the Faculty of Theology, describes the Keiskamma altarpiece, which will be on exhibition in the Faculty’s Attie van Wijk Auditorium until 14 September.
It took 130 women of the Keiskamma Art Project in Hamburg in the Eastern Cape seven months to complete the altarpiece. The artwork honours the memory of people in the area who died of HIV/Aids, and celebrates the community’s determination to prevail despite the disease.
The altarpiece is a combination of embroidery, wire sculpture, beads and photographs, and includes several panels depicting various scenes. The closed panels depict the crucifixion from the perspective of people without material resources, trying to find meaning in their lives. The panels also show a widow in traditional Xhosa wear mourning the death of her husband due to Aids.
On the opened panels, photos of an abundant live with trees, birds, churchgoers, and a harmonious rural existence illustrate hope, deliverance and restoration. Fully opened, the altarpiece shows dramatic, life-size photos of three grandmothers and their grandchildren, some orphaned by Aids, and their hope for a better future.
The altarpiece can be viewed on weekdays from 08:00 to 16:00. For more information contact Karin Linders at 021 808 3255 or e-mail

From NEWS from Stellenbosch University

Friday, 21 September 2012

Music Academy is growing!

Following a longtime dream of Music Academy founder Helen Vosloo to expand to other villages, weekly music lessons in the neighbouring village of Bodium have begun in September 2012.  Children from other villages have been keen to join Music Academy but the long walk to Hamburg for lessons and rehearsals has been a deterrent.   We have solved this problem by taking Music Academy on the road.

Fourteen children from Bodium Primary School have started Music as an after school activity.  We are currently meeting once per week to listen to music, play musical games, learn to read the notes on a staff, and get to know our new recorders.  The students are keen to have music more often and we look forward to increasing our teaching time with these pupils on weekends.

The Hamburg music students are curious to meet their Bodium neighbours and make music together; our upcoming holiday workshop in October will provide opportunities for joining musical forces.

With an ever-increasing enrollment in Hamburg (now 24 students at Hamburg Primary, 21 at St. Charles Sojola High School, and 2 on scholarship in Grahamstown), plus 14 students at Bodium Primary, we are delighted to see Keiskamma Music Academy bursting at the seams! 

Jen Hoyer

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Keiskamma Guernica at the Venice Biennale 2012

La Biennale di Venezia: “South African Architect Jo Noero’s work has always been sensitive to the divided and contested urban conditions of his country’s cities, and his installation here reflects thus through two powerful artworks. One is a 9m-long hand drawing, depicting at 1:100 the Red Location Precinct in Port Elizabeth, a project that proposes common ground in a city torn apart by the urbanistic consequences of apartheid. Next to it is the artwork Keiskamma Guernica, a tapestry made by fifty women from the Hamburg Women’s Co-operative from the Eastern Cape. These two meticulous, labour-intensive works are contrasting and complementary pieces of evidence of an urban condition where common ground is not easily achieved.”

Click here to read more.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Keiskamma French Carnival

A multi-disciplinary production presented jointly by Keiskamma Arts, including music by Ravel and Saint-Saens.
The internationally renowned Keiskamma Art Project has exhibited the influence of French art on its own projects through pieces such as the Keiskamma Tapestry and the Keiskamma Guernica. In French Carnival, artists from the Keiskamma Art Project depict the fantastic world of of animals and nature as portrayed in Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals.
The Keiskamma Music Academy will perform selections of Carnival of the Animals in a special arrangement designed to feature the unique sound of Keiskamma Music Academy: a blend of classical and African music performed on recorders and orchestral and indigenous instruments.  This production will also feature compositions by other French composers, including arrangements of Maurice Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye as heard in Keiskamma Music Academy’s award winning 2012 National Arts Festival production.
Performance Dates:
East London 17 November
Miriam Makeba Centre for Perfoming Arts
Port Alfred 18 November
Port Alfred Presbyterian Church
Hamburg 23 November
Historic Old Hall
Port Elizabeth 24 November
Main Auditorium, South Campus NMMU
For information or tickets, email or call 082 664 1190 / 073 914 5227
There will be an entrance fee for our performances of R50.  Tickets will be available at the door; advance ticket purchasing arrangements have not yet been confirmed.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Art Project and the A.R.T. show

The Keiskamma Guernica was on show at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2012 in Washington, DC.

Keiskamma artist Nokuphiwa Gedze demonstrating felt making at the Folklife Festival
Photograph by Glenn Fry

Monday, 16 July 2012

Keiskamma Music Academy at the National Arts Festival

Keiskamma Music Academy is proud to have completed three successful performances at the 2012 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.  In addition to sharing our music with diverse audiences and attending many other Festival shows, the Music Academy received a Standard Bank Ovations Encore Award for excellence in music education.  This award will help fund a new production for the 2013 National Arts Festival.

It was wonderful to see our ensemble of fifteen senior students perform together at Festival.  Our concert included recorders, marimbas, percussion, flute, clarinets, saxophone, violins, and guitar.  Some of our students have been working hard on new instruments and have made incredible progress in their music making.  Before we began our dress rehearsal, we wrote a list of things to remember to help us play musically: smile; stand up straight; move with the music; look at each other.  One of the students called out a new addition: “play like we are a family”.

During our first concert, a solo flute came in three beats early.  Other students recognized the mistake instantly and glanced around nervously, working together to keep the music going.  The rest of the piece was shaky but finished in a polished, if unintended, ending.  Afterwards, the flautist approached with his head hanging: “please don’t say anything to me about that piece…”

“I won’t say anything at all about it.  But you need to say ‘thank you’ to all your friends for fixing it.”

A small smile, a head held higher, a little more confidence.  The next performance was perfect, happy glances exchanged as everyone found correct entrances.  Playing like a family.

In addition to our performing ensemble of fifteen students, the rest of the Keiskamma Music Academy joined us on the last day of Festival to participate in the fun of Grahamstown.  We enjoyed shopping at the market and watching a performance by the Los Angeles Children’s Choir.  Their concert included several African songs that were familiar to Keiskamma Music Academy children; the choristers were delighted to have such an enthusiastic audience.

As we wind down from the National Arts Festival, we are gearing up for UNISA exams in September and October, and we are excited about performances as part of the French Season in South Africa in November.  Watch this space for more details!

Text by Jen Hoyer

Photos by William Martinson

Sunday, 8 July 2012


Carol Hofmeyr, founder of the Keiskamma Trust, will be in London UK this week, accepting a prestigious award from the Royal College of Physicians.

Carol has been elected to be awarded a  Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians, the highest level of membership, in the independent professional membership organization and registered charity, which represents over 27,000 physicians in the UK and internationally. 

All of us at the Trust are incredibly proud that Carol’s achievements and expertise in medicine are being recognized by this international board and we send her our warmest congratulations and best wishes as she accepts this award.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Music Academy: Khanyi Cuka is awarded the Hennie Joubert Merit Prize

We had a delightful surprise a couple of weeks ago when we heard from UNISA that one of our Music Academy students, Khanyi Cuka, was to receive a Hennie Joubert Merit Prize for her exceptional result in her Grade 2 alto recorder exam in August 2011.

We knew last year that all our students had done exceptionally well, with 8 Merits, 19 Distinctions and 3 young people achieving over 90% in their practical exams. However we were thrilled for Khanyi to receive this extra special award which is only offered to the top three candidates nationally per grade.

Other students who were placed on the role of honour are: Aviwe Nkani (pre grade 1 theory), Wonke Mapuma (soprano recorder grade 2), Khanyi Cuka (soprano recorder grade 3)..

The award comes with a R650  prize too, but most importantly, it validates the achievements of the Music Academy programme and the hard work of both pupils AND their teachers.

The students are currently preparing for another round of practical and theory exams this coming August, and Khanyi's success will surely spur them on to be up there with the best in the country!

Brenda Fishwick

Health Programme: a partnership with PWRDF and CIDA

From Canada Newswire website:

TORONTO, June 28, 2012 /CNW/ - The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) is undertaking, with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), a health care project in South Africa.  PWRDF will contribute half a million dollars over five years towards the$2 million project that will focus on preventing HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis among pregnant women in the Ngqushwa district of the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
"This project will train village health workers to run education programs in their communities about prevention of and care for people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS and TB," said Adele Finney, Executive Director of PWRDF. "The HIV infection rate in Ngqushwa district is 17.5% in the general population, and a staggering 33-45% amongst pregnant women.  Those who are HIV positive in the region are at a greater risk of contracting TB.  The project will therefore encourage HIV and TB testing, especially among child-bearing women and their partners.  A family-centred approach will improve the survival rate of infants and children, as well as their mothers."
The program will reach about 30,000 people in the region, increasing access by 43% to anti-retroviral drugs among children under 16, through the South African government's HIV and AIDS Directorate.  It will mobilize communities to promote HIV and TB prevention, care, and testing, and provide counseling to pregnant women and specialized training to government health providers.
Over the five years of the program, HIV and TB infection rates will decrease as awareness of and support for testing, prevention, and treatment increase, especially among children in the region.  The village health workers recruited and trained by this program will promote HIV and AIDS education, testing, early access to health care and treatment for patients before they become chronically ill.
PWRDF has a 40 year working relationship with CIDA, and looks forward to its continuing work with the Keiskamma Trust, the implementing partner in Ngqushwa.
Image with caption: "An HIV+ mother and child visit Keiskamma Trust for treatment and counseling.  (CNW Group/The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund)". Image available at:
For further information:
Zaida Bastos
CIDA Program Coordinator