extraordinary women

Women’s Month 2018: Caring for the Carers

On Friday, 10 August, in celebration of Women’s month, TB HIV Care recognised women in the communities in which we work with hampers (care packages) – to say thank you for the work they do, for their support of our clients and their selfless dedication to creating safe spaces for their neighbours.

Miriam Mdoda – Imizamo Yethu (Hout Bay)
With the help of Ntomboxolo Mpahlwa (Professional Nurse Counsellor) and Nomveliso Singayiya (Community Health Worker), Miriam Mdoda from Imizamo Yethu was selected to receive a care package. Miriam provides hot food to the people in her community. She also visits her HIV positive neighbours and ensures that they take their medication regularly. Miriam provides yoga classes for the elderly and takes care of children whose mothers work unusual hours. Miriam’s work began when her daughter lost her fight to AIDS in the years when ARVs were less accessible.

Ntomboxolo Mpahlwa, Miriam Mdoda and Michelle Carey

Thelma Yanta – Joe Slovo Informal Settlement (Langa)
Elizabeth Makonjo (CHW Supervisor) selected Thelma Yanta as one of the extraordinary women deserving of a care package. Thelma has run a small crèche in the informal settlement of Joe Slovo since 2006. The school runs on very limited resources, but everybody gets a plate of food! Thelma takes in unwanted babies and helps young girls shunned by their families as a result of unplanned pregnancies. While we were there, we were introduced to a little girl who was left at the crèche by her mother, 5 years ago. Thelma loves her as her own and has a policy that nobody will be turned away hungry or alone.

Thelma Yanta embraces Elizabeth Makonjo

Patricia Fekema – Dunoon
Patricia Fekema of Dunoon lost her daughter (aged 21) in 2007 to AIDS-related illness. Since then, Patricia has devoted her life to people living with HIV. She is determined that nobody on her watch will ever be lost to the disease again and she works hard at changing the behaviour of young adults in her community.

Patricia runs a feeding scheme, clothes people in need and counsels HIV patients. Patricia believes in the power of ARVs and makes sure that nobody misses a day. Patricia was selected by Thandeka Ngudle, who works as a CHW supervisor in Dunoon.

Patricia Fekema with a picture of her daughter, who she lost in 2007

Patricia Fekema with Thandeka Ngudle and Michelle Carey

Nomvuzo Kali – Khayelitsha
Nomvuzo Kali runs a community project called ‘Masivuke’, meaning ‘let us wake up!’. Her project includes running a daily soup kitchen, which feeds the unemployed, young people and children as well as bedridden individuals. She recently lost the help of 10 volunteers who delivered hot meals to bedridden patients, as she was not able to pay them a stipend.

Masivuke has very limited resources and yet Nomvuzo continues to support her community without fail. She supports unemployed school leavers who wander the streets of Khayelitsha without a sense of purpose, and invites them into her home to counsel them on life skills. She has introduced them to TB HIV Care programmes like Stepping Stones, Families Matter and M2M. TB HIV Care has a frequent presence in her driveway, offering testing and screening services to people waiting in queues to be fed. Nomvuzo was selected by Priscilla Wawini (Professional Nurse Counsellor), Ndumi Mtshiselwa (Priority Population Prevention Coordinator) and Mowabo Stemele (Hast Counsellor/Driver).

Nomvuzo Kali