The following links help you navigate this page:
- Heartbeat, Pretoria, South Africa
- Zimele, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
- United Through Sport, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Heartbeat supports AIDS-orphans in households run by grandmothers (Gogos) or young adults - thus the weakest and most vulnerable families. Founded in the year 2000 by Suneete Pienaar, the organisation has already mobilized 17 communities in 6 provinces to directly care for the orphans. This adds up to about 6.000 children being cared for by Heartbeat projects at the moment.
Heartbeat believes in a community based project approach which is based on childrens rights, community participation and sustainable development. The Heartbeat concept has been prized by the South African government and adapted by other aid organisations. For transfer of knowledge Heartbeat offers the „Tswelopele“ training and mentoring program.
Heartbeat supports the children, but lets them stay in their own homes with their families and pays several visits weekly. The children receive food parcels, school fees and school uniforms as well as psychological counselling. This intensive care allows the children to grow up in an environment relatively free violence and abuse. Furthermore, Heartbeat maintains so-called "After-school" and "Learning Centres" in which many children and young adults are offered educational opportunities and warm meals.
The Heartbeat model is innovative and successful because it lets the children remain in their community and focusses on a stable environment to grow up in. The approach significantly differs from that of an orphanage and is a very sensible concept for dealing with the HIV / AIDS crisis in Southern Africa.
Founder Dr. Susette Pienaar was voted the "Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2006" and was invited to speak at the World Economic Summit in Davos.
- More informationen on Heartbeat
- Our current project: the Heartbeat Learning Center
- The Heartbeat concept (external)
- Hearbeats website: www.heartbeat.org.za
Zimele is a Zulu word meaning to "stand on your own two feet". Logically, Zimele's goal is to empower people to help themselves.
The organisation is active in KwaZulu Natal, the world's worst region for HIV prevalence and a focal point of GoAhead!'s work. The rural regions of Swayemani and Uthukela suffer an (official) AIDS rate of more than 38%, more than half the population is unemployed and over 50% have no access to running water or electricity. The real numbers are much higher than the ones quoted here.
Zimele was founded by Rosetta Heunis in 2006 and focusses on helping wpmen and children who are caring for orphans or siblings. The phenomenon of "Child and Granny headed households" is commonplace in KwaZulu Natal.
It is Zimele's vision to improve the situation and create a safe environment for children by implementing projects heavily based in the community itself. Hence, the focus is helping women with the basic steps of generating income: official paper work, saving money and implementing ideas. At the same time Zimele informs them about their rights according to the South African constitution and HIV / AIDS. Zimele avoids creating dependency and rather tries to create initiative within the community.
Core programs are workshops with self-help groups, initiating groups producing African art and consulting with other local projects.GoAhead! namely supports the self-help group program.
Regular workshops with 10-15 attendees educate people on ways of improving their situation. Primarily, the target group are women who have to care for several children, yet have no income. The key approaches are accessing government funds and granting small credits ("microfinance").
The group jointly saves a small pot of money from which group members can borrow. The lent money is usually used to pay school fees or for the development of vegetable gardens. Zimele currently supports 45 such groups with about 450 members who in return take care of about 2.250 children.
GoAhead! is confident Zimele's approach is sensible, and we are proud to be working with this unconventional organisation. In 2008, we funded 15 workshops for 15 participants each.
More information can be found at www.zimelecommunity.org.
United Through Sport, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Education through Sport – this is the motto of United through Sport in Port Elizabeth in South Africa. During sport sessions young people are much more accessible for subjects like health, self-determination and taking responsibilities. Go Ahead! supports the football programs of United Through Sport.
United Through Sport was founded in Port Elizabeth in 2005. The association has specialized on programs combining sport and education for socially disadvantaged children in the region.
Life of the 1.3 million inhabitants of this part of South Africa is highly marked by disease, unemployment, malnutrition, violence and poverty. About 32 percent of the population are HIV/Aids infected, 60 percent of the inhabitants of the townships are unemployed. Children are the most vulnerable group of the population and often susceptible for drug abuse and manipulation. Their lack of social competences, life perspectives and knowledge about health often even lead to a risky lifestyle.
Sport education is neglected both by the government and the schools. At the same time, sport is highly fascinating for young people in southern Africa. Boys especially like soccer, girls prefer Netball. Sport educators are often highly respected by the adolescents. That’s why the young people are much more open for discussions on serious subjects in their life during sport programs. United through Sport uses this fact. They combine sport and the teaching important subjects like:
- Health risks (e.g. HIV/Aids)
- Protection and self-determination of your own body
- Taking responsibilities for oneself and others
- Emancipation and equality of the sexes
For more information on the cooperation between Go Ahead!and United through Sport have a look at [kickHIV!]
Homepage of United Through Sport: [unitedthroughsport.org]