Our Mother's Club for young HIV-positive mothers and their babies now has 17 mothers and babies, and it is encouraging to see them able to talk about their status and make short-term and long-term plans.
Parties and Tree Planting
We asked the mothers to discuss their goals and they initially came up with two ideas: a party and tree planting. For the party we organised snacks, cakes, drinks, and music, and the mothers had a wonderful time. We enjoyed it so much we now have a party every month to celebrate the babies' birthdays.
In conjunction with a local company, we supplied ten trees to Diepsloot, a township on the outskirts of Johannesburg. We had a lot of fun transporting mothers, babies, and trees in the back of our bakkie (small pickup truck) to different locations around Diepsloot. The majority of trees were planted at the children's playground, and some mothers planted them next to their shacks. We had an official thank you from the City Parks Department for the mothers' contribution to the environment.
A very encouraging development is that we have now initiated peer education for HIV/AIDS. One of the mothers, Barbara, has a very good understanding of the topic and is happy to help educate the others. She is also very faithful to stand up for their rights whenever problems arise, as well as help the mothers obtain ID if they find it difficult to navigate the bureaucratic system.
We help the mothers take and frame pictures of themselves and their babies. This popular activity encourages the building of happy memories, and we are making this an ongoing project, as we take pictures of every special event.
We organise training courses for our full-time volunteers in conjunction with Township AIDS Project. This ensures they have an up-to-date knowledge of the latest research in HIV/AIDS, as well as the necessary Christian counseling capabilities.
Originally Published in 2008.