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Pollsmoor bids farewell to CSP team

On Wednesday, 27 March 2019, TB HIV Care’s  Correctional Services Programme (CSP) team was invited to attend the annual Pollsmoor boxing tournament. The boxing tournament, which was held at the Remand Detention Facility, marked World TB Day (24 March) – and formed the backdrop for an appreciation ceremony for TB HIV Care’s HAST Counsellors (who left Pollsmoor at the conclusion of the current grant).

The boxing tournament is an exciting event on Pollsmoor’s calendar. It brings together members of the official Pollsmoor boxing club as well as boxing clubs from the Drakenstein Management Area and the Bonnytoun Child and Youth Care Centre.

The tournament is supported by official referees, enjoys corporate sponsorship and was covered by Zibonele FM and Open News. The boxers, who were enthusiastically supported (and loudly cheered), gave it their all in the boxing ring! The eventual winners were the team from Bonnytoun.

Before concluding the boxing activity for the day, Sister Nomawabo Notshe called all HAST Counsellors into the boxing ring and presented them with an appreciation certificate to express, on behalf of the Department of Correctional Services, their thanks for the Counsellors’ services, and the value and support they have shown to the Management Area over the past few years.

It was such a fun day. Thanks so much to everyone involved!

St George’s Cathedral marks World TB Day with special service

Last night (Sunday, 24 March), St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town was lit up in red to mark World TB Day 2019.

It was part of the Stop TB Partnership’s international campaign to shine a spotlight on tuberculosis: Light up the World in Red to End TB.

St George’s Cathedral was chosen as a symbol of this year’s campaign because South Africa has adopted the “It’s Time” theme, but adapted it to say:

It’s time…for religious leaders, parliamentarians and legislators to lead the fight to end TB in South Africa

This theme was chosen in recognition of the role of faith-based leaders as powerful influencers in South Africa. It is hoped that they can contribute in at least two ways:

  • By exemplifying the principles of acceptance and inclusion that underpin most faiths and welcoming and supporting those affected by TB, thereby combatting stigma associated with the disease; and
  • By contacting their local clinics to invite them to perform health screenings in their congregations.

Earlier in the day, South Africa’s Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, together with the National Assembly Speaker, Ms Baleka Mbete, joined the Anglican Archbishop, Thabo Makgoba and other faith-based leaders, parliamentarians, civil society and TB ambassadors at a special 09h30 service at St George’s Cathedral dedicated to those affected by TB in South Africa.

 

Sharing Global Perspectives on Sex Work and Harm Reduction

On Wednesday, 13 March, a group of people from around the world gathered at the Cape Town Sex Worker Drop-in Centre. Delegates from Mexico, India, Morocco, Nepal, Macedonia, South Africa and Kosovo were invited to learn about TB HIV Care’s Sex Worker and People Who Use Drugs Programmes in Cape Town by hearing from staff and service beneficiaries alike.

As members of the Global Fund’s Developing Country NGO Delegation, many of the international delegates had very comparable experiences implementing similar programmes in other countries. This was evident from the many nodding heads in the audience when our staff explained our processes and challenges. This delegation is responsible for representing the interests and viewpoints of NGOs from developing countries on the board of the Global Fund, and has one seat on the board. The delegation is currently holding a retreat in Cape Town to plan its year ahead and the purpose of the visit to the Drop-in Centre was to get insight into South African experiences.

Lesley Odendaal, Communications Focal Point for the delegation, commented that the site visit had far exceeded her expectations. 

Rudolph Basson, Cape Metro Key Populations Project Coordinator, and Yolaan Andrews, Cape Metro Sex Work Site Manager, both gave excellent presentations describing the work of their teams. This was followed by emotional presentations by Natleen Jordaan, representing peers in the Sex Worker Programme and Angelo Langenhoven, representing peers in the PWUD Programme. Three service beneficiaries also shared their experiences with TB HIV Care, explaining how much they had learnt and how appreciative they were of the welcoming nature of TB HIV Care’s staff.

Thank you to all involved!