About Tabitha Ministries
Tabitha Ministries started in May 1998, and has developed many aspects into the community and urban areas around Pietermaritzburg.
The Hope Centre is located at the former administration building of the Department of Transport at 30 Doull Road, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is a free standing surrounded by a concrete wall and easily accessible to the local population by taxi and bus. Ample parking is available within the grounds.
Resident at the Hope Centre, we have orphaned and abandoned children ranging from birth to 6 years of age, most of the orphaned children are without any kind of family support and are solely reliant on Tabitha Ministries. The Hope Centre has required extensive restoration and has been fully operational since 1998.
We furthermore provide a paediatric clinic in partnership with a Local Government Hospital, and Occupational Therapist who visits weekly with a modern school to assist with the education of the children.
It is vitally necessary to improve the quality of health and the well being of the children, both in the community and at the Hope Centre.
Tabitha Ministries is a genuine example of the support and interaction between organizations in Pietermaritzburg. In taking action to support and care for those most directly infected and affected by the HIV and AIDS pandemic.
The Problem of AIDS
Aids is a problem that affects us all. Everyday we read of statistics designed to alert us to the ravages of AIDS.
Tabitha is Christian based and concentrates on programmes such as caring for those that are affected and infected with HIV/AIDS, both adults and children, with Community Patients and children from Child Headed Households and babies being our major focus.
What are the Social Structures in the target group like?
The target group is in the Sweetwater’s community. Sweetwater’s is a rural community outside Pietermaritzburg. It is 18km wide it still has a Chief and Indunas (who govern the area). The village is sub divided into multiple areas. Tabitha assists in a number of areas.
The target group comes from a social background focused on the extended family system and ubuntu, both which are being eradicated as a result of HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The stability of these households is tentative. Child Headed Households appear and dissolve on short notice as deaths occur and as extended family become involved or on the other hand are no longer able to help. The community is in Flux.
Types of Service
- To provide care for those who are infected and affected by HIV/ADS.
- Spiritual Supervision
- Provide Food Security
- To provide care for orphaned and abandoned babies at the Hope Centre
- To access to Government Grants
- Providing practical wellness training for Home-Based Care
- To provide support and education to the family
- Increase Home-Base Care Facilities to destitute families
- Providing programmes for Orphans and Vulnerable Children
- Provide a place of safety in extreme cases in our community centre.
- To provide care for children in Child-Headed Households
- Access to Government Grants
Tabitha Ministries has different categories of involvement in the Sweetwater’s Community
- Adult and child are treated by home-based carers and provide with food parcels, frozen soup, milk fortified porridge, clothing etc.
- Care is given to vulnerable children and babies who:
- Are living in Child Headed Households where the adult caregiver has died.
- Are living in a home where the adult caregiver is critically ill (i.e. parent, grandparent)
- Are living with mothers who are sick and destitute. Milk and a fortified porridge are supplied to ensure good nutrition.
- A community house operates in the community where older children live and are cared for.
- Orphaned and abandoned babies and children under 6 years are cared for at the Hope Centre in Pietermaritzburg.
Activities in the Community
- Visits to schools and churches by Puppeteering Team
- Drama and Christian Education
- Schooling for destitute children
- Caregivers who visit homes of the destitute
- Medical caregivers, each of who visits patients daily to assist with bathing, cooking, washing, fetching medicines from the clinic, acting as a buddy for ARV’s and assisting with adherence to medications.
- Mobile Mothers, each of who visits child headed household’s daily assist with cooking, cleaning, and washing of clothes.
- Distributing of food parcels and clothing.
- 25 patients taken to local hospital to receive training in taking Anti-Retroviral Treatment
- Increase compliance on TB Treatment by patients due to assistance of caregivers
- Increase in school attendance and education of children due to supply of school fees and uniforms
- Improved health and nutrition of adults, children and babies due to generous food donations.
Local businesses, churches, private individuals, Baptist Global Response, (USA), Love Is All We Need (UK), African Aids Foundation (Australia) Inkosinathi Fund (Canada). Provide funding, uniforms, stationery, food tunnels, nappies, food, milk, formula, second hand clothes, as well as manpower.
Whom will this project benefit? What benefits will they receive?
The caregivers will receive training, food, and emotional support. PLWS will receive basic supplies (food, medicines, bedding and clothing), psychosocial support, and increased access to healthcare training.
OVC will receive education food, uniforms, stationary, emotional Psycho Social Support resulting in respect and stability.
What is the Social background of the target group, and what is their level of Education?
The beneficiaries live an economically disadvantaged community and are unable to access their rights to food security, basic health care, education, shelter and household security, and welfare assistance. According to the DoH statistics quoted above 17% of them will not have completed primary school and from our experience an even higher percentage will not have completed metric. Their lives are often characterised by trauma, death, violence, hopelessness and poverty.
With what other characteristics could the target group be described?
We are finding that the young people in these target groups are beginning to feel more in control of their situation and make informed choices. Increased access to ARV’s has brought a radical turn around in the way people perceived HIV/ADS.
Tabitha has been increasingly aware of the impact of HIV/ADS on its community and as a result has designed programmes that address these problem areas.
- The CAPACITY of the extended family and neighbours in the community to care for so many vulnerable children has been SATURATED and is continuing to DECREASE. The parents, aunts, grandparents, and now foster mothers are dying.
- School is a large positive factor. Placing children back in school decreases stealing and involvement in drugs. It provides a stable place where teachers act as significant adults in the children’s lives. Schools with a daily feeding scheme also provide a valuable source of nutrition.
- New observations include: foster moms dying, rapes at young age, sex for food, youngest child has died with full blown AIDS, involvement with drugs, fatalities due to fires caused by paraffin stoves.
- Food security is vital for medication compliance
- Food security is vital for the good nutrition of vulnerable babies
- Food is crucial. It prevents crime and decreases the pressure to turn drugs or sex
- The system the “Mobile Moms” have designed to support the children is invaluable
- People in general don’t seem to believe what is happening
- It is imperative to increase efforts to support these vulnerable families