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10 | December 2010/January 2011 Issue

Editor: Lauren Gursel | Designer: Belinda van Eck


01 December 2010 was the 22nd Commemoration of World AIDS Messages for HIV Negative People
Day. We celebrated this national event at Gert Sibande District • If you are negative, make sure you stay negative.
Municipality, Mpumalanga Province under the theme “We are • An HIV negative test may mean that you are in the window
responsible” period of infection, and this period may last for 3 months. It is
important that you go for a test every year to be sure of your
On the day, the Re-Action! community outreach project teams status.
came all the way from eMbalenhle and Breyten to be part of the
commemoration of the National World AIDS day activities in Messages for HIV Positive People
Driefontein, Mkondo. To support the teams, the Managing Director • An HIV-positive result does not mean that you will immediately
Ms Sharon White, PPM Technical Manager Ms Petro Rousseau, need to go onto ARVs. You should have a CD4 cell count test to
from Human Resources Zain Mohomed and Chris Pienaar as well determine the strength of your immune system and the health
as Stephanie Grobler, PPM Project Manager for Gert Sibande worker will help you decide when you need to go onto ART.
District were present. • The test provides you with information to seek out the various
health options and services available for people living with
The mobile clinic from Breyten had its awnings up as well as HIV, e.g. CD4 and viral load tests, as well as ART when they
the gazebo so that individuals that wanted to test for HIV had become necessary.
shelter from the sun. Between the two COP teams, 69 individuals • If you test positive for HIV, you will not be alone. There are
received counselling and testing. Those individuals that tested people and groups to support you about how you can live
positive were referred to the health facility nearest to their home positively with HIV.
for further management. While the two professional nurses did • No one should ever force you to share information about your
pre-test counselling and the tests, the rest of the team that were HIV results. Disclosing your status is a personal decision.
not involved in registration of individuals, went into the crowd to • Ask to be tested for TB if you are HIV positive.
do social mobilisation. Many people were interested and received
information on a healthy lifestyle, e.g.

Msukaligwa Outreach Team: Back: Maria, Mike (driver) Sharon White, Petro Rousseau, Thabo and Sipho (Breyten) setting up for the day,
Precious; Front: Nokuthula, Ocean, Zanele, Stephanie Grobler
Stephanie, Thabo and Sipho

We would like to congratulate the followign staff members on the new additions to their families,
we know they will bring them lots of laughter and happiness!

One of our Youth Champions, Tryphina Mthembu

gave birth to a beautiful girl, Siyathanda on 23 June 2010.

Marie van der Merwe gave birth to gorgeous Natasha Venter gave birth to her two little twin
little Luan on September 2010. angels, Roné and Jonél on 23 September 2010.

Belinda van Eck gave birth to beautiful Miya on Lauren Gursel gave birth to little Jack on
30 November 2010. 27 January 2011.


Re-Action! outreach workers realise that addressing food security and nutrition is vital to HIV prevention, treatment, care
and support. Lack of food security and poor nutritional status may hasten progression to AIDS-related illnesses and undermine
adherence and response to antiretroviral therapy. HIV infection itself undermines food security and nutrition by reducing work
capacity and negatively affecting household livelihoods.

Re-Action! recognises that women and girls are more vulnerable to HIV and without access to adequate food and income, they
are more likely to be forced into situations that place them at risk of HIV infection. Women are usually involved in producing,
purchasing and preparing food and are also primary caregivers. When a woman is HIV-positive, household food security is affected
in many ways.

Re-Action! outreach workers in Nkangala focus on educating the community on food budgeting and promoting vegetable
gardening. The vegetable gardening promotion and seed donation from Safeways Super SPAR has lead to the production of high
quality produce in various household gardens as well as community gardens at Hlalanikahle and Siphosensimbi Health care facilities
, Zachues Malaza Secondary School, Roman Catholic Church garden, Deliverance Group-Kromdraai , Vosman Police Station and
Nancy Shiba Primary School. At Hlalanikahle clinic gardeners are setting a good example for patients by utilizing clinic grounds
for vegetable gardening.

Tiny Sindane , a Food and nutrition

Champion and keen gardener meets
with the gardeners regularly. Here Tiny
Sindane and her colleagues look at the

Previously Re-Action! told households to harvest their own seeds. Produce is

therefore not always of a good quality. The Nkangala team would like to thank
Mr Dimitri Georgandonis of Saveway Super SPAR for the donation of Stark Ayres
seeds which led to the production of amazing quality produce (see image to

A donation by ubank of some much needed gardening equipment to the gardeners

at Zacheus Malaza has encouraged these gardeners to take their gardening to
the next level. The Nkangala Re-Action! team would like to thank ubank for the
donation made to these gardeners.

There are three distinct but interrelated components of household food security
and. Re-Action! outreach workers make an impact on all the components
by positively influencing the availability of food in the house through
promotion of household and community gardens, promotion of food related
income generating and saving opportunities to increase accessability and
Mr Mabona (Zacheus
utilization or proper biological use of food. This last
Malaza) and Phindi
component involves usage of safe clean water, Mahlangu show off the
a diet that provides sufficient energy and exceptional quality of the
essential nutrients, knowledge in the greenbeans and mealies.

household of proper nutrition, food

preparation, and illness management.
NKANGALA NEWS (continued)


Albertina Manzini shared how a group of ladies run a “stokvel” the month smaller food portions are given to family members.
with a difference, that has potential to be copied to other However in most cultures the best portion is reserved for
Re-Action! projects to improve food security. Instead of money the man in the house. If the man wants to eat all the meat,
being received by individuals, 10 out of the 20 individuals his family will be left with some gravy only to put over the
receive bulk supplies of food every second month. porridge. The mother will dish up for herself after the father
and the children have their portions.
The Lydenburg group shared other coping strategies, one of
which was to belong to a “funeral type stokvel”. The community Outreach worker, Tiny Sindane, came across a very ill HIV
all contribute a small amount monthly and when a member of positive mother during a household visit. When Tiny asked her
the family dies, the stokvel to which the family contributed, why she did not go for treatment, she said that she has no
pays out a lump sum for the funeral. food, and medication would be of no use to her without food.
Tiny immediately referred the mother of 6 to the clinic and
Mary Nkosi shared the following coping strategy of a young
involved the HBC. The mother passed away at the clinic the same
girl: Mary noted that the young girl never finished her food
day. This mother just gave up trying to cope, but now her
that she received. When asked why, the girl told Mary that
children have to learn to cope on their own with the help of
she is saving some for the evening, as she often goes to bed
the RRe-Action! team and Isibindi.

Common coping strategies include food rationing as indicated

by the Kalahari outreach worker team – toward the end of


2011 started off with Re-Action! staff having to assist youth and child headed households:

Re-Action! outreach workers referred a child headed household living in Vosman to the CMR social worker because the children
weren’t receiving any grants. The two girls in the photo below, Alice and Jostine are both 16 years old. Their mothers were sisters.
These two girls are coping very well on their own, but their diet consisted of dried beans, mealie meal and tinned fish. Thanks to
Mr Georgandonis from Super Spar, a food parcel could be delivered to this child headed household.

Food and nutrition OW, Tiny Sindane and youth

champion Tryphina, are showing the girls how to
make crumpets, as bread is a luxury in the house.

Thanks to Thirusha Naidoo, our Data Manager the girls were also able to acquire much needed school clothing for the new year.

These two girls hope to become a professional nurse and paramedic respectively. The younger brother, has a vegetable garden
outside, but the neighbours chickens destroyed the garden. Re-Action! outreach worker’s will be assisting them with overcoming
the challenges with their vegetable garden.
NKANGALA NEWS (continued)

Here OW Tiny Sindane is standing with young

Sphiwe Vilakazi, aged 11.

Zanele had to start working in her matric year to put food on the table for herself, her step brother Sphiwe and their mother, who
passed away in 2006 due to AIDS.

As a coping stategy, Zanele went to live with her mother’s sister, while Sphiwe went to live with his father. The mother’s house
was rented out for an extra income, but later the tenants were not paying rent. Sphiwe’s father, who was receiving his grant, was
using drugs, and Sphiwe left home, sleeping in the streets, in search of his step sister.

Re-Action! staff met Zanele and Sphiwe during 2010 at Hlalanikahle clinic where Sphiwe was diagnosed as HIV positive. When the
Re-Action! dietician noticed that the malnourished Sphiwe was not returning for his food supplement, she contacted them.

Zanele indicated that Sphiwe will be receiving ART at the Witbank Hospital, as they are currently living with the extended family
in Klarinet. She cried out for help, as the family were discriminating against Sphiwe. He was not allowed to polish his shoes, or eat
what the aunt’s older children were eating. The aunt had taken the death certificate of young Sphiwe’s mother, and Sphiwe’s birth
certificate in order to try and access the grant.

Re-Action! staff took Zanele to the Department of Social Development to inform the social workers of the situation. Zanele was the
one that was taking her younger step brother for treatment, and therefore she should be the appointed caregiver. Zanele refused
to go back to the aunt’s house after the meeting with the social worker and she and Sphiwe were placed in the drop-in center in
Hlalanikahle by the auxiliary social worker, Patience Twala from Child Welfare. At the drop-in centre, Zanele’s tears dried up and
she said: ”The Gogos show us so much love”. The Gogos assisted her with going to the municipality to get the proof that the house
in Ext 10 belonged to her mother, and this way she got her mother’s identification number to be able to get a copy of her mother’s
death certificate. All these actions cost money, and if it was not for a donation from a Re-Action! staff member, Zanele would not
have been able to access social services.

Zanele in the one roomed house on the day

of the move (she now has a reason to smile

When Re-Action! staff were assisting Zanele and Sphiwe to move back into their mothers house, they were horrified at the state
of the house. The roof was leaking, a toilet door was missing, the front door could not close and the toilet was leaking so much
that the moisture had seeped through the entire one roomed house. Zanele had stored their bed about 5km away and took it to
their home on a wheel barrow.
NKANGALA NEWS (continued)

The Nkangala office would like to thank Mr Meintjes from ubank for his assistance with the sealing of the roof and toilet, donating
the door frames, doors and cement and delivering the furniture and household items kindly donated by the Methodist Church
members. At the end of a hard days work Sr Norma Mhlanga and Fortune Mokoena of the Nkangala office assisted to get the
doors and cement out to the house late one afternoon in Norma’s bakkie. Thanks to one of our managers, who wishes to remain
anonymous, Sphiwe has the new school uniform for his new school.

Sphiwe and Zanele are looking forward to begin a new chapter in their lives in their mother’s house. Food and nutrition outreach
worker, Tiny Sindane will be making sure that they budget, eat healthy and start a vegetable garden.

Re-Action! has remarkable staff, making a difference, one life at a time.


The Thaba Chweu outreach workers were the last group to be trained on
Food and Nutrition and will now be able to empower their communities to
improve household food security. The SA Food Based Dietary Guidelines can
now be applied by this group to support individuals living with HIV as well
as orphaned and vulnerable children. They have been introduced to the new
growth charts which is being implemented by the DoH soon. This group of
outreach workers are eager to improve the food security of PLWHA through
better utilisation of food choices during illness and safe food preparation.
They see the alcohol abuse in the area as a challenge that directly influences
food security.
Vusi Semela showed excellent initiative and taught his fellow colleagues how to make
French Toast, an economical and protein rich alternative to eating dry bread.


The Re-Action! Public Private Mix (PPM) programme began with a health systems strengthening focus, specifically targeting
the treatment of HIV, TB and AIDS and slowly began building momentum towards creating sustainable economic development
solutions in communities. The main aim of the PPM is to implement a platform that allows the public, private sector and civil
society to collaborate and share resources in scaling up the response to health system strengthening and building sustainable
livelihoods which will result in long-term social transformation within communities.


We are dedicated to partnering with communities to improve wellbeing at a human scale level that is good for people and
the environment. The PPM team supports the South African government and other partners (including the private sector, civil
society, and the public sector) in the implementation of priority interventions related to TB, HIV, and AIDS using the PPM model
as a vehicle to strengthen health systems.


Responsible Action for Health & Sustainability