Mother’s death inspired a youth initiative on Aids

January 20, 2009

Mother?s death inspired a youth initiative on Aids

Nomahlubi Sonjica HERALD REPORTER

A YOUNG Port Elizabeth woman has turned her grief about losing her mother to Aids into something positive by establishing a youth initiative project to assist Aids orphans and develop young people in Motherwell.

Fundiswa Mtima, 21, of Sangxa Street, Motherwell, founder and chairman of the Sakhulutsha Youth Initiative, said she had formed it after her mother died of Aids in 2007.

?I used to go to the Dora Nginza Hospital to visit my mother when she was sick, and I would see how HIV-positive children were suffering.?

Fikizolo said she had got together with a group of nine other young people and five older women to start the project.

?We went to clinics and schools here in Motherwell to ask nurses and teachers to help us identify children we could assist.?

She said Sakhulutsha cooked hot meals and provided bread for the 15 children it cared for. It also offered counselling to HIV-positive children and young people.

?We teach them about HIV/ Aids. We also help pupils with their homework.?

Fikizolo said the group also visited the homes of children whose mothers were sick with HIV/Aids.

?Three of the children we look after recently lost their mothers to Aids, so we help them with food and make sure they are looked after.?

While the project still needed a lot of funding, the group was hoping to develop it further and not only focus on helping the needy.

?We are establishing a bakery to create opportunities for young unemployed people and we also want to be able to sustain the project.?

Funding for the bakery would come from the government, Fikizolo said.

To keep children off the streets, the Sakhulutsha Youth Initiative also had traditional dance as a fun activity.

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