Thandanani Children's Foundation
The Thandanani Children’s Foundation offers community based care and support for orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty in the Msunduzi district of KwaZulu-Natal. The organisation works in areas such as Pietermaritzburg and the communities around the town of Richmond. The Thandanani Children’s Foundation was founded in 1989 and addresses the grave issue of HIV/AIDS in the province, where approximately 40% of the population, and 4.2% of children, are HIV positive. Furthermore, there are an alarming number of orphans in KwaZulu-Natal, amounting to 27% of the child population. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that many in this area are living in poverty, with 24% of the Msundunzi population living in informal settlements. Thandanani’s strategy is two-fold; the organisation offers support through both its: Family Strengthening Project and its Health Outreach Project.
Thandanani’s inspiring work
- Thandanani has significant experience in providing early childhood development projects for the under 5s.
- Identifying indigent families in the community that are caring for orphans.
- Working with social workers to try and place an adult care-giver with any children orphaned in the community.
- Conducting regular home visits and offering support including emergency assistance.
- Establishing household food gardens and community micro finance groups.
- Distributing school uniforms and monitoring the performance of young carers at school.
- Organising life skill programmes for young carers.
- Providing health assessment and education, voluntary counselling, and testing and treatment adherence monitoring.
- Enabling young carers to access professional welfare services.
- Carrying out door-to-door campaigns with health education and screening and testing free of charge.
- Organising Health Days to educate people about sexual health.
- Engaging in Community Dialogues about issues such as sexual health, gender based violence, and drugs and substance abuse.
- Creating structured support groups for those living with HIV/AIDS.
I am one the children who was given support from the Thandanani School Assistance Programme. The organisation paid for my school fees in 2000 and 2001 which really helped me proceed with my studies in those years. At the moment I am studying towards a national Diploma in Tourism Management at the Durban University of Technology – doing my final year. Additionally, I am one of the students who received Tourism Bursaries from the KZN department of Arts, Culture and Tourism headed by the honourable minister Weziwe Thusi.
I want to say thanks very much to the organisation’s employees who made me realise that anything is possible in this world with the awesome trips and camps which we used to take. These gave us warmth which we lacked sometimes in the household which we came from.
I wish that I could do something to uplift other beneficiaries from the organisation.
I think the only way to do that is to come forward and motivate the following generation in order to promote education and healthier lifestyles.
Please contact me to talk about this possibility.
Family Strengthening Project (2014-2015)
- There were a total of 10,124 beneficiaries;
- Across 1,491 households;
- Including 1,607 children.
Health Outreach Project (2013-2014)
- 23,278 members of the community were involved in health/HIV awareness programmes, Health Days, home visits and Dialogues.
- 327 males were circumcised.
- 747 referrals were made.
- 95 people living with HIV received support and health education.
- 2,885 children and 10,448 adults undertook HIV counselling and testing.