How locals are raising HIV awareness !

A Non-profit organization from the Valley of a Thousand Hills near Durban named The Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust (HACT), has started an innovative champing, To raise the awareness a Red Ribbon Fridays campaign has begun. To educate the people about HIV and AIDS, they launched.

Before some weeks HACT started visiting some schools, churches, sports clubs, community gatherings, and many more social places, They aware them about AIDS and HIV, provide beaded red ribbons and encourage them to wear that red ribbon on Friday to support the people with AIDS in the build-up to World Aids Day on 1 December.

An area in need

Claire Hodgkinson, one of the senior marketing manager of HACT said “As World Aids Day 2017 approaches, we are starting now to do campaigns so that people won’t forget about it. In my understanding, every day should be Aids day. Another reason we decided to work with people here in the Valley of the Thousand Hills is that HIV and Aids rates in that area are very high. We have seen that it is an area in need, plus there is also a high level of poverty,”

A person named Paula Thomson, head of the  Woza Moya and Friends, a project falling under HACT, said HACT was founded in 1990 by a church called Hillcrest Methodist Church, to provide proper knowledge about AIDS and HIV, in the local rural and poverty-torn communities and to help the people living with AIDS communicate in the society.

Now  HACT grown and improved over the years and now has a 24-bed Respite Unit, offering 24 hours service to the victims of people in advanced stages of Aids.

Thomson explained, “The Woza Moya and Friends project is a social enterprise which helps those impacted by HIV/Aids by putting food on the table. We are assisting many of the patients who leave HACT’s Respite Unit by helping them learn new skills, crafts, sewing and beadwork and then after that we sell their products to gain income which is used to buy the healthy food they need. Even the beaded red ribbons for Red Ribbon Fridays are made by them.”

‘I have been encouraged.’

Shozaphi Dlamini said “I joined HACT in 2000 when I was unemployed. I came here to do beadwork, and I am proud to say now I can put food on the table for my family.” Another member of The Woza Moya and Friends said “I have been encouraged. I can now provide for my family thanks to the skills and training I’ve received at HACT.”

HACT is encouraging all South Africans to join their campaign and wear red ribbons on Fridays to support those affected with HIV/Aids.

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