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-yearprogram implemented under Humana People to People South Africa’s TCE model in 3 districts of the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga provinces. The program began in 2014 and seeks to help community members know their HIV status through counselling and testing for HIV and subsequent treatment for those who are HIV positive.
Currently, the project is specifically targeting truck drivers and sex workers with HIV testing and awareness campaigns on HIV/AIDS, TB, sexually transmitted infections, medical male circumcision, and anti-retroviral treatment. The project is also mobilizing and educating people on the importance of correct and consistent condom use while distributing condoms.
In 2015, 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, nearly 53,000 people were tested for HIV/AIDS and over 32,000 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 3 districts of Zululand, Mopani, and Ehlanzeni and reaches out to over 150,000 South Africans annually. In 2015, Hope Outreach Officers counseled over 38,000 people on HIV/AIDS and mobilized nearly 11,000 people for testing. The program also reached over 6,000 additional people through activities such as sports and youth campaigns, and there are currently over 2,000 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. More than 15,000 families are currently participating in this project.
In 2015, Child Aid South Africa reached over 28,000 people with information about health and hygiene and successfully established 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 ultimately to 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.
As of 2015, the program has recruited and trained a total of 60 Preschools of the Future teachers and there are currently 30 teachers undergoing training in Early Childhood Development in preparation for their preschool teaching careers.
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 2015, 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.
Second-Hand Clothes and Shoes
In 2013, Humana People to People in South Africa began the Second-Hand Clothes and Shoes project in Durban. HPP South Africa collects clothes directly from the public, which gives people an opportunity to support disadvantaged communities of South Africa through clothing donations. The project is operated by 9 employees– 2 Project Leaders, 5 staff in the office, and 2 staff in collection and site finding.
The project has offered communities the opportunity to recycle unwanted clothes, shoes, toys and household textiles while supporting development initiatives and creating jobs. It has also made it possible for people from poor communities to purchase quality clothes at cheaper prices. Clothing that cannot be sold is donated to other organizations that benefit the poor such as Sinenduduzo Development Organization in Kwandengezi, Mangangeni Pre-school, and Chatsworth Refugee Camp.
In 2015, the organization collected a total of 23 tons of second-hand clothes. Of those, 7 tons were collected directly from households while the remaining 16 tons were collected through a network of small collection boxes placed throughout Durban. The organization currently operates 83 collection containers.
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.