Wola Nani in the Xhosa language means ‘we embrace and develop one another.’ Wola Nani was established in 1994 as a non-profit entity to help bring relief to the communities hardest hit by the HIV crisis in the greater Cape Town area in South Africa. Formed against a background of economic curtailment on welfare spending and a huge increase in the number of HIV and AIDS cases, Wola Nani initiated programs to help HIV positive people in the local community cope with the emotional and financial strains brought about by HIV and AIDS.
South Africa accounts for 10 percent of all global HIV incidences and it is estimated that currently 30 percent of the South African workforce is infected with the virus. Wola Nani brings relief to families and communities hardest hit by the AIDS pandemic and assists them to develop their own strategies to respond to the crisis.
The 2011 World Aids Day event took place in various forms in South Africa. Programs were done during the 16 days of activism between November 25 and December 9, 2011. With the aim of promoting as many people as possible to get themselves tested and know their status, Wola Nani Counselors tested 432 clients on World Aids Day December 1, 2011. Outreach programs were held at various clinics during this time:
- Manenberg Clinic – 116 clients were tested.
- G. F. Jooste – three clients were tested.
- G. F.Jooste Hospital – 179 clients were tested.
- Athlone Library – 48 clients were tested.
- Hanover Park Clinic – 29 clients were tested.
In addition to the outreach clinics, a World Aids Day Program took place at the Wola Nani Phillipi Centre. This event took place on December 1, 2011, and included adult and guardian support groups from Mfuleni, Khayelitsha, and Phillipi. More than 150 people attended the event. The program included clients disclosing their status, candle lighting, and a play put on by the Mfuleni center children.
Other programs were held at other locations including Hanover Park. This event was a big success in terms of educating as well as the testing of Mount View High’s pupils for HIV. Hanover Park is known as an area of high gang violence, with many of the youth having low self-esteem and morale. The aim of the program was to inform youth about HIV and AIDS and making positive choices; prevent the spread of new infections of HIV/AIDS; help youth understand what life is like for people infected with HIV/AIDS.
Another program was held at Mountview Senior Secondary School. Under the leadership of the Principal, Mr. Archie Benjamin, Mountview Senior Secondary School was recently recognized as one of the top schools in the Western Cape Province. Approximately 600 students attended this event. The event was held in partnership with Bush Radio Station, City of Cape Town. Many donations were received from: Nedbank, Department of Health, and other Wola Nani partners. The program included speeches from the Hanover Park Health Forum, Department of Health, and the keynote speaker, Lt. General Arno Lamoer, Commissioner of Police, Western Cape. Entertainment was provided by students through plays, rapping, and songs. Bush Radio also provided music and ensured the community was informed through their live broadcasting of the event from the school.
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