By supporting local project partner organisations, Oxfam aims to increase the capacity of communities to care for orphans and the general community affected by HIV and AIDS. A major focus of partner projects is to provide sustainable food sources. Proper nutrition creates a strong immune system which in turn increases resistance to HIV and AIDS. Even after infection, good health enables parents to stay strong, live longer and continue to care for their children.
Ubombo Drop In Centre provides food for orphaned children and food packages for HIV affected families, supplemented by the centre’s food garden. Photo: Matthew Willman/Oxfam Australia
Local partner report:
The report below includes some of the activities from the local partner organisations that directly relate to the initial aims of the Footprints funded project:
Hluhluwe Advent Crèche
The Crèche is a community based response to the increased number of children who were not receiving adequate nutrition as a result of the impact of HIV on their families and caregivers. Their current project focuses on crop production and preservation and nutrition education. Some of their activities included:
- An 80 metre borehole was drilled which now has the capacity to pump 600 litres of water per hour and at present can safely yield five 400 litre outputs per day.
- IsiNnduna (traditional leaders) supported Hluhluwe by mobilising the community for agricultural training.
- Land was prepared and vegetables and maize planted.
- Green maize and vegetables were harvested and used by the feeding scheme.
- Some vegetables were preserved.
- Adult basic education and training (ABET) is now integrated with produce gardening training for adults
- The Hluhluwe Advent Crèche director was recognized by the KwaZulu-Natal “Community Builder of the Year Award”.
Ubombo Drop in Centre
The centre was funded to support the provision of food to orphans and vulnerable children in urgent need of food support and a garden to supplement its feeding scheme with fresh vegetables in order to promote the maintenance of appropriate nutrition levels.
Maputaland Development Information Centre (MDIC)
MDIC ran a skills development program that focused on developing the capacity of small community based livelihoods projects, e.g. nutritional education and home gardening projects that assist economically marginalized groups such as women and youth to improve their project management skills and productivity.
The types of projects represented by training attendees were beef production, community gardens, sewing projects, bee keeping, dry-land maize production and essential oil processing.
Three projects with particular potential to become viable for the communities are beef production, essential oil from rose geraniums (which sells at USD98 per litre) and bee keeping projects which have high nutritional benefits. Bee keeping requires low investment of capital, making it accessible to individual households.
Ingwavuma Orphan Care workers visit a child-headed household in Jozini. Photo: Matthew Willman/OxfamAus
Partner Human Resources Issues
The remote rural nature of the area often results in only a core group of committed people remaining in the area, while the large majority of those with development practice training move to either government services (for better salaries) or to urban areas for a wider range of employment options.
Strong commitments result in excellent work
Despite the issues of a limited professional pool, positive results do emerge from passionate and committed people who remain in isolated situations to support local projects.
Governance and its impact on partnerships and delivery
Poor governance can be problematic in contexts where members of the community are not aware of their right to become involved in community based organizations.
Slow starts to programs and reporting
In a rural and underdeveloped area such as Umkhanyakude, programs take some time to develop and the standard of reporting is often low in partners due to a basic lack of familiarity with standard accounting and accountability practices and procedures.
Food Security and Climate Change link
The community have yet to fully appreciate the impact of climate change despite their experience of ‘prolonged droughts’. The most pressing concern is therefore to address agricultural production and the cultivation of new and appropriate food crops that will better resist climatic extremes.
Future of the project:
This report is from the 2nd year of the first 3-year phase. It’s anticipated that the program will continue for 10-15 years with a view to gradually building local competencies in development planning and management ,and ultimately creating sustainable community-owned and run projects
(Report posted: 31 Jan 2008)
Oxfam Australia will support several local partner organisations in the South African district of UMkhanyakude in the KwaZulu-Natal province to feed orphans and vulnerable families, and to provide them with care and support. Through skills training and the development of large community gardens, this project will also increase levels of sustainable food sources for the general community. This will ensure that people have enough to eat and, most importantly, a nutritious diet and a strong immune system, which can reduce vulnerability to HIV infection. Nutrition also plays an important role in maintaining the health of people with HIV.
This project will cover:
* Orphan support: to provide after school care, help them with homework and pay school fees, uniforms and school books.
* Emergency food support by providing a daily meal: to ensure that fewer orphans and families will be left hungry and that their general health will improve.
* Home and community gardens including seeds, tools & training: to grow nutritious, drought resistant vegetables and provide long term food security.
* Income generation skills development for young people: so they can increase their access to food and secure a better standard of living for themselves and for their families.
* Advocacy & support: to gain better access to government assistance, by helping orphans and vulnerable children to receive birth certificates. Many people do not have a birth certificate, which they need in order to be eligible for government grants
* Technical support, monitoring & evaluation: Including training in small business and simple financial management, including how to conduct a project feasibility and viability study, to ensure community projects are self-reliant and sustainable on a long-term basis.
UMkhanyakude is the poorest district in the KwaZulu-Natal province. The district has a large number of orphans and households run by young children, a direct result of the prevalence of HIV.
Many orphan children do not go to school, which means they not only miss out on an education, but on food - at school-based feeding schemes. Providing food and support for these children is vitally important.
Part of a long-term project:
Footprints funding will help to support the first three-year phase of the program, which will run in total for 10 -15 years. The program will provide community members with training to develop the skills they need to support themselves on a long-term basis. This work will lead to increased access to food, care and support for orphans, as well as higher nutrition levels, better general health among orphans and the general community.
The thumbnail photos shows Two young children having their daily meal at the Ubombo Drop-In Centre in Jozini - For these children this is the only meal of the day. They walk a considerable distance to get to the centre for their meal. Photo by Andrew Hartwich, Oxfam AUS.