Planet Aid supports many projects and programs that are helping meet critical needs in South Africa with particular focus on HIV/AIDS/tuberculosis (TB) prevention, community development, food security, and education. Humana People to People-South Africa (HPP-SA), Planet Aid’s in-country sister organization, operates more than 15 development projects in five provinces, and benefits nearly 1 million people annually.
Total Control of the Epidemic
The Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) Communities Forward Program is a 5-year program implemented under Humana People to People South Africa’s TCE model in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and Mpumalanga provinces. The program began in 2014 and seeks to help community members know their HIV status through counseling and testing for HIV and subsequent treatment for those who are HIV positive.
In 2016, key activities for the project included the establishment of a standardized referral and tracking system, community-based counseling and testing services, and the strengthening of community health systems to facilitate the scaling of activities.
In 2016, 35 community members were identified and trained to work as "Passionates," volunteers who educate the community, and are now working with the poor to fight against HIV/AIDS and TB. Over the last year, over 190,000 people were tested for HIV/AIDS and nearly 190,000 for TB.
In 2007 with support from Planet Aid, the HOPE South Africa project established its first community centers where trained volunteers implement HIV prevention, treatment, and care programs, and work with local clinics and hospitals. The project plays a critical role in increasing access to HIV/AIDS/TB services. Peer educators and trained activists are involved in awareness campaigns in schools, social gatherings, and women’s clubs. In addition, HOPE projects encourage mothers to participate in antenatal care.
The HOPE project is currently being implemented in the four districts of Zululand, Mopani, Ehlanzeni, and Mogale City and reaches out to over 150,000 South Africans annually. In 2016, Hope Outreach Officers counseled over 53,000 people on HIV/AIDS and distributed approximately 982,000 condoms. Additonally, there are currently over 12,000 children and youth participating in HOPE activities.
The Child Aid South Africa program was established in 1998 and employs a community-centered approach to support children in all areas of development, including HIV/AIDS/TB prevention, education, hygiene, water and sanitation, nutrition, and income generation. Currently, Child Aid projects exist in Doornkop, Tubatse, Bakenberg, and Zululand. More than 24,000 families are currently participating in this project.
In 2016, Child Aid South Africa reached over 36,000 people with information about health and hygiene and successfully established nearly 400 backyard gardens for community members to grow their own vegetables for both consumption and supplementary income.
Preschools of the Future
Established in 2014, Preschools of the Future is an intervention program developed by Humana People to People-South Africa in response to the increasing need for pre-school education for disadvantaged children ages 2-5. The goal of the program is to ultimately establish 40 preschools; thus far, there is one preschool operating in Mangangeni and the program is working to train teachers and develop curriculum for the future schools.
In 2016, 1,200 preschool-aged children received a preschool education through the Planet Aid–supported POF program in South Africa.
Regarding the education her child is receiving at the Mangangeni preschool, Promise Hlekwanwe says,
"I really can see the difference in my child compared to the time he was not attending the pre-school and the time he is attending the pre- school. My child by the time we will go to attend Primary School it is not going to be difficult for him because he has the idea what is happening at the school."
Humana People to People in South Africa began implementing the Farmers’ Clubs program in 2012. The goal of the program is to improve the income of farmers by equipping them with technical skills, linking them to markets, and providing access to farming equipment and water. Beneficiaries receive training in new agricultural techniques, farm economics, and proper health and hygiene practices. Other project activities include field visits by project leaders, relevant workshops, special "Action Days" focused on environmental and health education, club libraries, and an income-generating loan system.
In 2016, Farmers’ Clubs focused on increasing sustainability by reducing costs of production and securing long-term markets for the farmers’ produce. The program is currently begin implemented in the Eastern Cape Province and is helping 400 farmers who are organized into clubs made up of 25 members each.
Humana Youth in Action
Planet Aid supported Humana People to People's Youth in Action project, which empowered the youth by giving them an opportunity to develop their artistic skills. In total, around 2,500 young people were members of the 112 clubs.
Club members participated in a range of creative activities, like dance, music, poetry, sculpture, painting, and theater performance. Groups worked together to create art pieces based upon select themes chosen by the members. Popular themes included "I was born HIV positive – About stigma," ‘What global warming is all about for the youth," and "Drop in to school - not out of school."
Many participants also performed in monthly community events where they could showcase their talents and raise funds for their clubs. Three-day Youth Festivals were put on twice a year for club members to produce and perform master pieces, with representatives from the European Union, South African Department of Arts and Culture, Humana Spain, and other organizations in attendance.