We have been a part of a network of NGOs for quite a few years now called Soul Action.  It has been such a blessing in our lives both personally and professionally.  We have met some amazing people working in all different areas of community service; we have taken Soul Action courses that have challenged us, taught us, expanded our vision and opened our eyes to new ways of doing things. Another perk of being a part of this network is being able to share and learn from each other.  Recently a few of us took a program management course that Soul Action facilitated.  During that course, we got to know some of the staff from Ithemba Lethu, and as part of our course requirement, we visited their organisation and were able to see first hand what they are doing.  I would love for you to check out their website!  They are an amazing organisation with a huge passion for children and for HIV prevention.

One of their 3 projects areas is HIV prevention in schools.  They offer a 5 year school-based program targeting grades 5-9 with youth workers in the schools, teaching and doing after-school activities with the kids.  They also have about 4-5 parent workers who go into the homes, to help the parents reinforce what the children are learning in schools.

Last week was Ithemba Lethu’s staff development week and they asked me to come in and share from a medical perspective about HIV and any updates in the area of prevention and treatment.  The HIV Prevention staff have had small amounts of training about HIV over the years, but they needed some refreshing.

Approximately 20-25 young adults who work as youth/parent workers participated in the training. What a privilege it was to work with them.  It was the first training I have done of its kind where the participants were all so passionate about behaviour change and prevention of HIV amongst the young people of South Africa.  The session was alive with questions, comments, stories, and vision for the future – how the information that they gained would be utilised in their own homes, amongst friends, and in the schools in which they serve!

Ithemba Lethu – may you be encouraged in your work and may you see children making positive choices in their lives that will protect their health, help them achieve their dreams and realise the destiny God has for them!  And I would love to help you with any further staff development initiatives you plan!

Photo credit: Kerry Wiens

Photo subject: Simunye Youth



2 Responses to Networking
  1. Marian Reply

    How awesome God works. I love how He gets people together to better life for His children. I’m so glad Michelle that you are and have been able to be His hands.

    • Michelle Reply

      Thanks Mom for your continued love and support of our work here in South Africa!

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