Empowered communities that take the initiative and responsibility to effectively manage the effects of HIV and AIDS.
To respond to the signs of the times by initiating activities that will help communities through their structures to support those affected and infected by HIV and AIDS through implementation of sustainable development initiatives underpinned by Christian value framework.
The goal of Sikhethimpilo is to contribute towards the empowerment of orphaned children and other vulnerable groups in finding solutions to their problems and develop self-confidence while remaining in their original communities.
The programme is managed by the Management Board comprising of clergy and lay people. It is the overall policy making body for Sikhethimpilo. It also monitors the adherence to the policies by all staff, volunteers and beneficiaries.
Sr Ludbirga Schumacher is the founding Director who seats in the management board and assists in the mobilisation of resources for the centre. She gives advice to the implementation of the activities by Sikhethimpilo.
The Administrator of Sikhethimpilo centre is responsible for supervision, implementation, monitoring and reporting on project activities to ensure their success of the activities.
One Field Officer plus two interns work with the communities in the wards and villages on OVC, C&HBC and Prevention activities.
A Finance Officer performs all financial duties. The Receptionist/Secretary does the reception duties, two Office Assistants mann the guest rooms and dormitories. One male Handy man does gardening and small livestock rearing. One Cook plus one assistant mann the kitchen. A pool of 450 Volunteers assist in the identification of beneficiaries, implementation and monitoring of activities.
LOCATION AND TARGET POPULATION
The project covers 14 wards out of the 24 wards in Matobo District, 117km south of Bulawayo. The area lies in natural region V, which is characterised by low rainfall, poor soils and unemployment. Many men and young people migrate to neighbouring countries of Botswana and South Africa in search of work and better living conditions. This has a direct effect on the AIDS situation, as many people return home sick after a few years. The target group includes OVC aged between 0-18 years as well as in and out of school youths up to 24 years. Due to the loss of their parents, the OVC are left with no one to provide for education, food, clothing and other basic needs. Many orphans are traumatised and need a lot of counselling and assistance to combat all the above mentioned problems, so that they can come to terms with their situation and also address them.
BACKGROUND TO THE PROJECT
Sikhethimpilo centre “We Choose Life” (Dtn 30 vs. 19) was established in 1996 as a response to the increasing numbers and needs of orphans in Matobo District and Matabeleland South Province of Zimbabwe.
The Programme was started in 1996 involving care for the sick people. As many people passed on volunteers were confronted with growing numbers of orphans, and the need to care for them became urgent, as the extended families were in many cases not able to accommodate additional children.
The volunteers C&HBC ward leaders assist in the planning, implementation and monitoring of activities and also assist in their evaluation at the end. They are the key people together with the local leadership who identify the beneficiaries. In the past 13 years, an average of 3000 beneficiaries per year have benefited through camps, skills training course, education assistance, prevention sports league, Youth Alive Clubs, HIV Support groups and income generating projects. A family of 450 volunteer care givers, peer educators, camp helpers and foster parents have supported the work of Sikhethimpilo.
- Practical skills training
- PSS Camps
- Education assistance
- IGP projects
- Food Security
- Child support groups
- Material support
- Training workshops
- Refresher workshops
- Home visits
- Monthly monitoring meetings
- Quarterly monitoring meetings
- Provision of C&HBC kits
- Provision of volunteer incentives
- In and out of school youth alive clubs
- Youth friendly corners
- Prevention Sports Tournament
- Distribution of IEC material
- HIV awareness campaigns
- PMTCT, TB and drug adherence awareness talks
- HIV and AIDS support groups
- IGPs for HIV support groups
- Behaviour change workshops
- Peer education workshops
Note: All beneficiaries are identified by local leadership and C&HBC givers and verified by the Field Officers. C& HBC ward leaders are involved in the planning of all activities. The Administrator, Field Officer, National AIDS Council, Social Services, Matobo Rural District Council, Ministry of Health and all other stakeholders assist in planning, implementation and evaluation of all activities.
Sikhethimpilo scales up the psychosocial support in Matobo district for the OVC aged 8-18 years and up to 35 years with the youths. Each camp gives birth to a child support group that meets weekly for camps, one day where games and education in various areas take place. A few children support groups run IGP tuck shops and nutrition gardens. In education assistance, the comprehensive package includes fees plus examination fees, provision of uniforms, stationery and food hampers. For the dissemination of learning and networking, we are offering expertise and conference facilities to other NGOs in and out of Matobo district.
In prevention , a multi-faceted intervention strategy where awareness on PMTCT and TB, provision of entertainment, information for the youths as well as livelihoods for the youths and HIV and AIDS support groups is conducted.
An average annual funding is around USD 26 000 from external funders plus USD 63 000 realised through centre funding. Reports are compiled monthly, quarterly and annually and shared with other NGOs, National AIDS Council, Matobo RDC, Social Services, Government departments, communities and funders.
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
The volunteer Trainers and Administrator are the link between the communities and the centre. They specifically oversee all activities in the different wards. The Field Officers supervise all activities and provide technical assistance while the volunteer peer educators and C&HBC givers monitor the progress of activities. The impact of the project is measured in numbers of camps, training courses and workshops done and the number of all activities and keep records and compile reports that are submitted to Sikhethimpilo monthly, quarterly and annually.
Finally the impact of the activities is measured by the changes realised in the lives of the beneficiaries as the result of the activities implemented.
Sikhethimpilo commands a lot of support among the Matobo district communities because it is community based and all activities are owned by the communities.