Living Hope: new year update!

Here’s a new year update from Living Hope Community Centre, which is being supported by Mocha Club members in HIV/AIDS clubs. Living Hope is making a difference in the lives of those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in the Deep South of Cape Town, South Africa…

A New Year has begun and with it comes a renewed commitment from Living Hope to bring the best possible service to the communities it serves. The challenges to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS and to reach the hearts and minds of young people before their lives are affected are bigger than ever. At Living Hope we believe we have a vital role to play as we work together with churches, individuals, government and international agencies to bring help and hope and reach out to as many people as possible in the fight against HIV. I am excited about the opportunities that this year brings. We have a wonderfully committed staff of about 150 personel who work extremely hard to make a difference in the lives of people.

Parties with a Purpose

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The weather was perfect as about 900 children gathered on the grounds of the Ocean View Primary School for a Living Hope Christmas party. There was music, a giant jungle gym for jumping as high and as long as the boys and girls desired. Many of the younger kids had their faces painted and all the while Christmas music played to put everyone in the spirit of the holiday, and like any Christmas party, good food. But this party, like others at Capricorn, Red Hill and Masiphumelele, was for a bigger purpose.

Nathan Panti, Life Skills Educator at Ocean View explained that of course, for many of the children, this is the only time they experience this kind of fun on such a large scale, “like they see on television.” More than that however, he says, “a party this huge makes people more aware of the presence of Living Hope in the community and helps to build relationships that opens the door to the ministries of Living Hope.”

Sewing Class Completion Celebration

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Empowered! With brand new sewing machines as their reward, 13 women and men in the first sewing class at Living Hope celebrated the end of their 9-month sewing program. During their course, the class made handbags and aprons which proved to be popular. The class donated a financial thank you gift to Living Hope, and it is our hope that these machines will encourage them to continue to sew and earn income for their families.

World AIDS Day

Here in Cape Town Rev. John Thomas, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Living Hope, emphasized abstinence, faithfulness, unconditional care and education in a message to leaders at Pollsmoor Prison on World Aids Day. In a three part approach to dealing with HIV and AIDS, Rev. Thomas urged people to keep their promises to God and abstain from pre-marital sex outside of marriage and be faithful in it. They need to keep themselves pure and be tested. Concerning others, and especially those with the virus, we must promise unconditional care and help, “beyond the call of duty” and “not to stigmatize people.”

Nutrition Help Needed

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Right now, nutrition is being highlighted as a key ingredient in the treatment and care of people with HIV and AIDS. Living Hope finds itself in a dilemma and needs your support. Funding for its food parcel program is about to end. Trevor Gray, Living Hope manager says, “we need approximately R10,000 per month to continue this program. Without it, many of our sick clients and especially those who are in our Home-Based Care program would not get the food they so desperately need.”

John Thomas, Living Hope Community Centre

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