OLF World AIDS Day 2010
01-12-2010

OLIVE LEAF Foundation was very active on Wolrd Aids day in 2010.

On the 1st December 2010 OLF Alexandra was invited by Barloworld Company to commemorate World Aids Day. The Prevention and HIV Counseling and Testing Teams facilitated the event.

OLF promoted HIV counselling and testing, provided pre and post test counseling and conducted discussion groups on male reproductive health, reducing multiple sex partners and condom usage. The theme for the day: STOP AIDS: Keep the promise.

On the same day the HIV care and support team commemorated World Aids Day at the East Bank clinic in Alexandra. The event started with candle light to remember all the HIV heroes and heroines.

In December 2010 it was an honor for Zandspruit OLIVE LEAF Foundation to be given an opportunity to host as most memorable ceremony in Zandspruit at one of the schools.

Zandspruit OLIVE LEAF Foundation and Masakhane primary school held a very successful Candle Light Ceremony with Zandspruit Clinic staff. Over 120 learners attended it as well. In terms of sponsorship for the day two of our big OLIVE LEAF Foundation partners, Spar supermarket, and Zandspruit Hyper, donated two boxes of candle light candles.

The ceremony was started with a prayer from one of our pastors. The master of ceremony was the operational manager from Zandspruit clinic. Each and every one was given a candle before the ceremony started. T-Shirts were donated by REPSSI.


OLIVE LEAF Foundation supported Lovelife yesterday with HCT education and awareness sessions. It was a very succesful event that utilised a flash mob of dancers and a popular RnB music group -Liquid deep- to draw a youth audience.

Spotlight on Qunu
03-12-2010

The Sunday Times Online newspaper reported on our work in Qunu, just before world AIDS day:

810 Aids orphans in one small village

Number doubles in only 18 months

OLIVE LEAF Foundation has registered more than 430 children since June last year. It provides food parcels, school uniforms and school fees, Aids prevention programmes and bereavement counselling for 810 orphans in the village.

The organisation believes there are up to three times that number of orphans in the village and surrounding area because it has not finished an investigation of schools in the district.

On the eve of World Aids Day, villagers spoke of how most of the graves in Qunu, a settlement of people living in round huts in rolling green hills, are of those who died from the virus.


UNAIDS Global Report 2010
24-11-2010

The overall growth of the global HIV / AIDS epidemic appears to have stabilized.

The annual number of new HIV infections has been steadily declining since the late 1990s and there are fewer aids-related deaths due to the significant scale up of antiretroviral therapy over the past few years. Although the number of new infections has been falling, levels of new infections overall are still high, and with significant reductions in mortality the number of people living with HIV worldwide has increased.

New HIV infections are declining

In 2009, there were an estimated 2.6 million [2.3 million–2.8 million] people who became newly infected with HIV. This is nearly one fifth (19%) fewer than the 3.1 million [2.9 million–3.4 million] people newly infected in 1999, and more than one fifth (21%) fewer than the estimated 3.2 million [3.0 million–3.5 million] in 1997, the year in which annual new infections peaked (Figure 2.1).

In 33 countries, the HIV incidence has fallen by more than 25% between 2001 and 2009 (Figure. 2.2); 22 of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa. In sub- Saharan Africa, where the majority of new HIV infections continue to occur, an estimated 1.8 million [1.6 million–2.0 million] people became infected in 2009; considerably lower than the estimated 2.2 million [1.9 million–2.4 mil- lion] people in sub-Saharan Africa newly infected with HIV in 2001. This trend reflects a combination of factors, including the impact of HIV prevention efforts and the natural course of HIV epidemics.


Evaluating our work
17-09-2010

Is our work only about numbers? Or are we actually interested in the difference we are making in the people's lives with whom we work? For the past week Dumisani and Wessel attended an evaluation training offered by Pact SA that challenged us to think more deeply about the outcomes we are actually achieving.

We were presented with different types of evaluation, different evaluation questions, and a general introduction to sampling and basic data analysis.

There were three kinds of evaluation that really appealed to us:

  • Establishing regular process evaluation of our programmes, where we can discover if our tools and interventions are actually making sense to the people they target, and making a difference.
  • The most significant change technique: this is a summative approach where we can ask long ranging and deep questions to as many people touched by our organisation as possible. The core question to ask is: What is the most significant change that we have made in your life? The hundreds of stories will then be sifted to choose the best.
  • Compiling a comprehensive baseline of our OVC work to be able to track our future progress with this important programme.

These ideas were sparked by the lively workshop, where Pact SA partners shared their experiences in evaluation, and Pact provided a technical overview of evaluation. The Outcome Mapping workshop we had conducted with our technical team at the end of 2009 will also fit hand and glove into the evaluation work.

We are now going to see how and where we can begin the evaluation process.

The evaluation training was hosted by Pact at the Centurion lake hotel and it was a great opportunity to meet other Pact SA partners and share stories and ideas.

Guest speakers provided expert input. Andre Proctor from Keystone and Bongiwe Mncwango from the HSRC had great presentations about feedback and data analysis.

At the end of the workshop the words were mentioned: "I am tired, but inspired!"

We both felt the training provided a very valuable step towards our mission of enabling sustainable community development.

Unicef and Olive Leaf Foundation collaborated during the world cup
08-07-2010

“An enduring legacy to protect children during the World Cup and beyond”

The hosting of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa during June and July 2010 attracted large numbers of local and foreign soccer supporters. To make it possible for millions of South African football fans and foreign supporters to watch the matches on television, FIFA declared ten official public viewing sites, known as FIFA Fan Fests, in all host cities.

UNICEF child-friendly spaces

UNICEF, in co-operation with the Government of South Africa and NGO partners such as the OLIVE LEAF Foundation, Child Welfare and Child Line established child-friendly spaces as part of a national child protection programme at four of the FIFA Fan Fests in three host cities for the duration of the FIFA World Cup to serve as a refuge for children who are at risk.

The establishing of child-friendly spaces formed part of a comprehensive UNICEF programme aimed at helping children and communities to celebrate the games in their schools and communities. In the longer term, the purpose of this project is to contribute to a strengthened child protection system as an enduring legacy of the event.

The child-friendly spaces were located at Innesfree Park in Sandton, Elkah Stadium in Rockville Soweto, St Georges Park in Port Elizabeth and Nelspruit.The child-friendly spaces comprised a dedicated, covered area that was UNICEF branded, and made provision for a reception area, counselling area, nutritional area and a recreation area.

The objectives of the child-friendly spaces were:

  • to provide emergency care and tracing services for unattended children in and around the FIFA Fan Fests.
  • to provide a base for specialised child care workers to ensure early identification of at-risk children and referral to appropriate services such as police, social workers, emergency children’s shelters and medical assistance.
  • to provide a safe, supervised environment where children can watch the matches on television screens and enjoy child appropriate activities while receiving child protection services.
  • to raise awareness among children and parents on how they can protect themselves while enjoying the games.

Activities of staff at the child-friendly spaces included:

  • conducting a rapid assessment of the circumstances of all vulnerable children and child victims of abuse who may be brought into the child friendly space;
  • conducting child case management;
  • providing immediate response to the physical needs of vulnerable or abused children;
  • conducting verification and reunification actions of lost children with their parents/care-givers;
  • providing psychosocial support, including counselling and support to vulnerable children and child victims of abuse if required;
  • conducting statutory intervention and placement of children in child-friendly spaces if needed;
  • referring children and adults to the services and/or the child-friendly spaces;
  • accompanying children referred to other services when necessary including medical care, police or other relevant services;
  • meeting the social and emotional needs of children through daily routines, age and developmentally appropriate activities, meals, toys and games, comfort items, blankets, clothes etc.;
  • referring children under the influence of alcohol or drugs to agreed service provider; and
  • sending daily reports and statistical information on services provided to children and their families to the Provincial Joint Operation Centre.

This article published with thanks to Katarzyna Pawelczyk from UNICEF South Africa


Stellenbosch - World Play Day
02-06-2010

WORLD PLAY DAY for the Stellenbosch Office was a memorable and fun occasion. The Stellenbosch Staff spent an hour playing various traditional games like ‘Wolfie, Wolfie, what’s the time’ and ‘Cat and Mouse’ with 35 children from the Lynedoch School and Crèche. Many of these children, aged between 3 and 9 years, come from the surrounding farms where their parents work as labourers. Importantly for some children, this was a special opportunity to spend the time with positive male role models.

We are still not sure who had more fun, the Stellenbosch Staff or the children?

We are looking forward to hosting similar events more regularly.

Community Schools in Zambia
07-04-2010

As a result of the political and economic shifts that occurred during Zambia’s transition away from a socialist economy in the early 1990s, many Zambians became concerned with the country’s large number of uneducated children. Communities began forming their own schools, usually in the absence of a nearby public school and/or in response to the inability of families to meet the costs associated with government-provided schooling.

Supported by local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), these local initiatives have grown into a national movement. The country’s current education sector plan recognizes the critical role community schools play in contributing to realizing education for all (EFA), as evidenced by the following direct quote from the 2001 Ministry of Education “Policy and Guidelines for the Development of Community Schools in Zambia:”

“The Ministry recognizes that over the last four years two kinds of successful alternative approaches that address enrolment of orphans and vulnerable groups have already been established. Therefore new agreements and memoranda of understanding will be developed with community schools and interactive radio centers to provide specific access for out-of-school children”.

The community assumed that these agreements would increase the Ministry’s support through grants and materials while still preserving strong community ownership. However, the opposite was the case as no meaningful support has been rendered. Up until 2005, each community school was given approximately $634 per year; 20% used for teachers allowances and the rest for school management.

The Zambian government officially recognized community schools in 1998. In 2002, the government declared basic education free. All schools were directed to stop charging any form of fees for pupils in grades one through seven, and uniforms were no longer compulsory. Furthermore, the government directed that no pupil should be denied enrollment or excluded from school because of inability to pay any levy. During the same time period, community schools expanded along with access to public schools. By design, community schools often serve the poorest, most vulnerable children in Zambia. As many as 500,000 students are estimated to attend community schools—approximately 20 percent of the total basic education enrollment in Zambia.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic and the fiscal crisis confronting the country over the past 10 years, represent two notable factors contributing to the accelerated growth of community schools in Zambia since the mid-1990s.

Most schools are started without the prior knowledge of the Ministry. Communities, local organizations or

individuals simply decide to start a school to meet an identified need.

OVC serving-organizations in Zambia are as vulnerable as the children they passionately serve. They have inadequate resources; low levels of skills, lack of financial resources and minimal infrastructure where good care for the children can take place. The nearest organizations have gone to, is rent out church space for caregivers to use as classrooms. Care givers work tirelessly and passionately without any incentives which in most cases, is of minimal concern. It is for this reason that OLF Zambia through its programs; African Network for Children Orphaned and at Risk (ANCHOR) and Regional OVC Support Initiative (ROSI) has resorted to partner with these schools to supplement the provision of services that they cannot offer.

After partnering with OLF Zambia, baseline capacity assessments are conducted, reports highlighting gaps are presented to the school leadership and intervention strategies discussed. To date, OLF Zambia enjoys formal relationship with 15 organizations.

OLF Zambia encourages that schools adopt the government requirement of formulating the Parent Community Schools Committee (PCSC) to provide the school with oversight in; administration, management, supervision. Furthermore, OLF provides capacity on the following; psychosocial counseling, formation and management of kidz clubs, child protection, governance and leadership, recourse mobilization.

ANCHOR has activities in Chawama and Ngombe Townships in Lusaka where 56 kidz clubs have been set up. The children in kidz clubs are cared for by home based care givers who were trained by OLF staff. ANCHOR has become popular due to the existence of kidz clubs which has seen an increase in demand for enrollments by over 1000 children. This was on the first day snacks were served at Ngombe site. “If only this programme could continue, OLF would put a smile on countless children in our community” said Esther Mkandawire (Ngombe site leader).

All partner organizations attested to having befitted from OLF-Z skills building workshop on governance offered through the ROSI program. During a mid-term assessment, most organizations had started amending their governance documents and restructuring their boards. There is eagerness to implement OLF/ROSI strategies as organizations have an understanding that it is possible to bring about change if they created networks with new and likeminded organizations where they share new ideas and experiences.

It is this caring hand that stands as a hallmark of the OLF Zambia in the communities and show constituencies the true character of OLF Zambia.


Written by: Paul Kasonkomona, OLF Zambia

ABSA invests in young lives
09-03-2010

As partners, Absa and the OLIVE LEAF Foundation are working together to improve the lives of 99 orphaned and vulnerable children in the Walmer Township of Port Elizabeth. The partnership between Absa and the OLIVE LEAF Foundation will help to ensure that these children have access to basic, but essential services. The underlying principle in this programme is that of promoting sustainable development, a principle which has become synonymous with the OLIVE LEAF Foundation’s purpose, which is guided by a set of core values, such as “Ubuntu” – a South African way of embracing ”community” and “togetherness”

Absa’s involvement with the OLF started in 2006, when funds were made available to the organization for grocery distribution. In terms of their agreement, funds (R200 000,00) were made available by Absa to ensure that Child Headed Households receive monthly groceries.

The 2009 allocation of R440,000 was given to ensure that selected children would benefit from a wider range of services.

The children are from 81 families, all living in the sprawling, impoverished township of Walmer. Some of the children are orphaned and others live in single parent households, they have hardship and hunger in common. Amidst their difficult circumstances, there are dreams of a decent education and the caregivers’ hope to provide for the basic needs of these children.

The services rendered by OLIVE LEAF Foundation will include food support, supplying school supplies, medical services and facilitating skills training programmes.

A group of 15 Kidz Club Leaders (who are all at High School) will assist the fieldworkers and supervise the daily homework, life skills and character building sessions. The aim is for these children to become community leaders that will enable community development through the training they receive. The OLIVE LEAF Foundation will work closely with the caregivers in support groups to provide social and emotional care, as well as equipping them with skills to start income generating activities. The programme is fully endorsed by the Ward Councilor, Fundiswa Mbane, who works closely with the OLIVE LEAF Foundation staff. She has expressed her confidence that this project will contribute towards the improvement of the lives of the children in the community.

The rising number of orphaned children, child and youth-headed households is arguably the biggest long-term challenge facing South Africa’s socio-economic development and stability. Absa’s partnership with the OLIVE LEAF Foundation is part of a national programme where Absa is working with five leading NGO’s namely Johannesburg Child Welfare, World Vision, Starfish Greathearts Foundation, Wola Nani and OLIVE LEAF FOUNDATION to provide holistic support to orphaned and vulnerable children.

On the 05th March 2010 at St Augustine’s Church in Walmer, Absa presented OLIVE LEAF Foundation with a cheque to assist the beneficiaries of this programme.


By May Daniels, Senior OVC Co-ordinator | Port Elizabeth

Chief Mavuso Crowning
14-01-2010

The crowning of Chief Mvuso in the town of Alice, former Ciskei on 21st November 2009, was a five-day event that saw the community coming together to celebrate and learn. Chief Langa Mavuso (Aahh Zwelidumile - his praise name) is one of the 40 Chiefs under King Maxhobasakhawuleza Sandile (Aahh Zanesizwe - his praise name), King of the Rharhabe Kingdom. He is an Advisor to the King and is Acting Secretary in the Office of the King.

The festivities started on 13 November with a community meeting to discuss needs and resources in the chiefdom. OLIVE LEAF Foundation was invited to do a presentation on the different services available in the area.

The community gathered with great enthusiasm for the soccer tournament on the second day. Clubs and spectators were converged at Chief Mavuso’s Tribal Authority yard afterwards to attend a session on gender issues facilitated by OLF.

To remember those who have passed away over the years a candle light Memorial Service took place on the evening of 18 November. Special mention was made of those who died due to HIV/AIDS. The messages also reached out to those who are currently living with the disease to live positively. Hundreds of children from local schools attended sessions on teenage pregnancy and the importance of abstinence.

Income Generation in Kenya
03-12-2010

OLIVE LEAF Foundation Kenya through its sub grantee Kiambu People Living with AIDS(KIPEWA) while being funded by an international donor managed to reach 989 OVC’s in Kiambu (Central Province). The orphans were provided with educational support (school fees, school uniforms as seen on the photos), food with emphasis on nutritional support, protection (assistance to get birth certificates) and psycho social support. Between July and October 2010 KIPEWA through the follow on bilateral award from an international donor initiated goat and rabbit rearing income generating activities for granny headed households.

KIPEWA is also a success story of OLIVE LEAF Foundation Kenya’s Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) institutional capacity development programs that have seen the community based organisation grow and attract more funding from other donors thanks to the successful implementation of the programs.

An early Christmas with educational support for OVC in Limpopo
30-11-2010

The Limpopo First Lady extended a helping hand to provide a gift for educational support.

OLIVE LEAF Foundation (OLF) in partnership with Arise & shine drop-in centre hosted a distribution of school uniform and stationery on the 28 October 2010. About 43 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) from a deep rural village at Makogodu in Moletjie area situated in Limpopo province, received the support of school uniforms. This was a donation from the Limpopo First lady Mrs Mokgadi Mathale. The event ran concurrently with a Kidz Club. Those children who were mostly from disadvantaged families, used to go to school wearing old and worn out school uniform and sometimes went barefoot. This eventually let them feel like they are discriminated against, sidelined, and outsiders amongst their peers at school because of the way their clothing looked like.

Amongst the guests who were present during the occasion was the OLF Staff and its volunteers with their maximum participation and contribution towards the success of the event. The children received the school uniform and stationary (pens, pencil and rubber). You may agree with me that this was the best time specially where children are motivated before starting with their final exams.

The OLF Staff and Arise & Shine project manager and caregivers were grateful to see the children in their new uniforms. Children did poems, they sang traditional songs and danced, showing their appreciation for such a wonderful gift.

The OLF Family wellness coordinator Donald Lesele did a motivational speech to encourage children to take education serious and wishing them good luck for their upcoming exams.

These is what school uniform supporters say about the benefit of school uniform:

  • Supporters of school uniforms point to research that has concluded that requiring children to wear uniforms produces benefits for schools and families,
  • Supporters say school uniforms improve student performance by eliminating unnecessary distractions over attire.
  • School uniforms may improve student behaviour and conduct by reinforcing the academic setting.
  • Student uniforms may improve socialization among students because concerns about status-symbol clothing are reduced Uniforms can save parents money by lessening the pressure on students to have expensive clothes to keep up with fashion.

OLF would like thank the Limpopo First Lady Mrs. M. Mathale (The wife of the Priemier), Arise & Shine Drop-in centre staff and their Project Manager (Mrs Kgashane) for making this kids club school uniform celebration a success.

Prayer meeting for class of 2010
28-10-2010

2010 has been a year of festivities in South Africa. Who can forget the successful hosting of the historical FIFA world cup? This festivity brought a change in people lives as everyone wanted to take part and be witnesses to the event. A change was also noticed when the midyear school holiday was a month long and this meant that the time pupils spent at school was shortened.

As we were enjoying the benefits of hosting the world cup in July, civil servants embarked on a lengthy strike which included teachers again. Schools could not function and kids were left to fend for themselves. As if this was not enough COSAS started with their own protest action which saw more time being lost.

It is during this time that progressive organisations like OLF with its partners decided to assist school children to access educational support. Afternoon and weekend classes were organised by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Grade 12 children in the metro were transported by OLF to the Missionvale compass to attend classes to catch up on time lost.

On Friday the 22nd of October 2010 a prayer meeting for the class of 2010 was organised by OLF and other relevant stakeholders, this meeting was held at Walmer High School and it was well attended. This meeting was braced with the presence of community church leaders whom I cannot stop thanking for their unwavering support.

Speakers present at the event motivated children, some even cited their personal experience of writing matric exams.

School children were also presented with an opportunity to tell of their future ambitions, what excited those that were in attendance, especially the school principal of Walmer high school, was the fact that some of the kids were keen to plough knowledge back into the school after they have achieved their ambitions.

Towards the end of the event school children were presented with chocolates bearing special messages by nursing staff from the local clinic and OLF.

As if this was not enough, OLF went further to present school children with files that contained grade 12 question papers for the previous years, these files will remain the property of the school and teachers will annually file question papers that would assist the next grade 12 class.

OLF would also like to take this opportunity to thank the communities and other relevant stakeholders in the Nelson Mandela Metro for being supportive to our programmes, we are also calling upon those that want to contribute positively to the OLF cause to not shy away from approaching our offices.

Good luck to the Grade 12 class of 2010.


Written by Kaya Ngcelwane

Area Manager: NMM Office

The Umzi Wethu Project
13-08-2010

Southern Africa is experiencing an increasing number of HIV/AIDS related deaths, and an associated growth in the number of orphans and child headed households. At the same time, countries in the region have experienced a boom in eco-tourism, resulting in the establishment and expansion of game reserves and a need for skilled workers in the customer service industry. Amidst these contrasting trends lies an insidious poverty, fuelling the AIDS epidemic and threatening to undermine the region's economic gains from eco-tourism.

Umzi Wethu - Nature, Nurture, Future from The WILD Foundation on Vimeo. The Wilderness Foundation has found one solution to this problem in South Africa. It has developed a dynamic intervention model called the “Umzi Wethu Training Academy for Vulnerable Youth”. Relying on the economic promise of the ecotourism and hospitality sectors to tackle the cycle of poverty and HIV/AIDS head-on with skills development and job placement for some of the most vulnerable members of society – youth on the verge of adulthood.

Umzi Wethu targets youth that show resilience and ambition – but despair of opportunities to support their households – and transforms them into highly employable young adults.

The Umzi Wethu model builds on the success of the Wilderness Foundation’s other social programmes, Pride and Imbewu, which both aim to introduce previously disadvantaged learners to the power and beauty of their natural environments. The Umzi Wethu programme was piloted with the opening of the first Umzi Wethu Academy in Port Elizabeth in April 2006 following an extensive planning and feasibility process. A second, rural academy was opened in Somerset East in March 2008 to provide nature focused, conservation based training programs.

OLIVE LEAF Foundation has been a close partner in the development, testing evaluation and support of the Umiz Wethu programme.


Our team at the World AIDS conference in Vienna!
13-08-2010

We are proud to announce that OLIVE LEAF Foundation has been provided a stall at the international World AIDS conference in Vienna. Itumeleng Komanyane will conduct a weeklong workshop entitled: 'Finding fun amidst difficulty'. This is a theme that depicts the resilience of the children whom we serve.The team will also present programme material and contacts from our work in the Southern African region. We congratulate Itumeleng for taking the initiative to make this important trip happen, and our best wishes accompany the team.

Making a difference one household at a time
29-06-2010

'PAIN AND SUFFERING, THEY ARE A SECRET. KINDNESS AND LOVE, THEY ARE A SECRET. BUT I HAVE LEARNED THAT KINDNESS AND LOVE CAN PAY FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING' ALAN PATON – CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY

Part of our OLIVE LEAF Foundation mandate through the Care and Support Programme in Durban and surrounding areas is to conduct home visits and offer palliative care services to clients. We work in partnership with the local clinics who refer clients to us. On 11th May 2010 a 42 year old gentleman from the Chesterville community was referred to OLIVE LEAF Foundation by the Cato Manor clinic. Khosy Dhlomo and Mandisa Msomi visited Mr Ntoni (not his real name). What struck us on our arrival was the appalling conditions that he was living in. Mr Ntoni lives in a shack; from a distance you would never imagine that to be a family home. Even as field workers who encounter poverty and homelessness on a daily basis we were shocked.

You would think that this house only provides shade to protect yourself from the scorching sun while carrying on with your outdoor activities. To our dismay we realised this house is a safety net to a family man, a father of three.

Mr Ntoni's house before OLIVE LEAF Foundation assisted

THE STORY OF HIS LIFE

Mr Ntoni was born and bred in Cato Ridge in Kwazulu Natal. He comes from a broken home, has no education but came to Durban in search of a better life. He made a home for himself in Chatsworth and fathered three children, currently two girls 13 and 11 year old and a 9 year old boy.

LIVING CONDITIONS

Before our intervention he was living in Chesterville in a shack that presents a health hazard within the premises of a concerned community member. She is also not working and lives on her pension.

WHAT HAVE WE DONE

In the interview Mr Ntoni described the plight of his children at school. Nono experienced discrimination at school because of her ill health and lack of school uniform, this impacted on the children’s self esteem to the point that it was a mission to get them to go back to school. The Family Wellness team (OVC & CAS) intervened holistically for the family; the first step was to provide the children with school uniforms.

Step two was to secure nutrition. OLIVE LEAF Foundation has since been providing the family with food parcels donated to the organisation by Tiger Brands; this is the third month since our first intervention with food parcels and the family is able is cope better with their health conditions.

Step three was to see to the living conditions of the family. Mandisa Msomi (Family wellness senior coordinator CAS) mobilised for the resources to help rebuild this family home. Of the donations received was the timber donated by one of her relatives which helped to create a better structure and the door was donated by Mr Malunga a staff member. The plight of this family was shared with the OLIVE LEAF Foundation Durban staff members and people were moved in different ways and they made various contributions from clothing to labour which was required to put the structure of the house together. Zakhele Mavundla was the project manager of the successful house building initiative and people who were part of the house building initiative was Siyabonga Dlamini, Thabani Kalala and Mhloli Malunga. Vukukhanye a Durban based Non Governmental Organisation also working in Chesterville provided meals and additional labour to the process.

Step four was to see to Mr Ntoni’s legal status. He does not have access to the grant for his children; this is because he is not yet registered as a South African citizen. Though his application for an ID has been sent through it took longer because it was an application for late registration. Mandisa followed up with Home Affairs on his behalf and Phumy Mbambo from home affairs based in Commercial Street in Durban was of great assistance in making sure that Mr Ntoni gets registered as a South African citizen.

57 Vulnerable children receive school uniforms
03-05-2010

Principals from 24 Port Elizabeth Primary schools together with teachers and OLIVE LEAF Foundation partners that included the Department Of Education and Grassrootsoccer joined at the Missionvale Care Centre Hall to witness Back-to-School on 21 April 2010. The purpose of the event was to hand over school uniforms and restore some dignity in children who previously faced embarrassment at not having the proper attire. 57 children who are part of the OLF orphan and vulnerable children programme received school uniforms.

The event was made memorable to the children's delight as OLF staff decided themselves to wear school uniforms, hoping to add fun and excitement to the day!

The caregivers were very happy to see the children in their new uniforms “I cant stop saying thank you and I’m sharing tears of joy!”

Several of the children present at the event previously went to school with torn, old clothing and it was difficult for them to feel confident both socially and academically amongst their peers.Many of the children did not attend school at all for months at end. They commented on feeling like an outcast because of the way they dressed.

One of the partners present, Department Of Education, commented: "OLIVE LEAF Foundation started this programme before we did in the schools and the tools that they use are helping the children. As the department we have had a BACK TO SCHOOL EVENT but it was nothing close to this! We would like to take our partnership to greater heights.The work that you do is amazing"

OLIVE LEAF Foundation would like to thank all our partners present at the event for their support, enabling us to bring dignity to our children together.

Capacity Development in Nigeria
06-04-2010

The OVC serving - organizations in Nigeria have been burdened with the over whelming situation of the OVCs and the organizations’ lack of the capacity to meet these challenges. International donors and funders, who give aid to OVCs, have also had setbacks in disbursing funds to these organizations due to the lack of capacity of NGOs and CBOS to meet the demand of OVCs holistically. This imperatively became a bigger challenge, because if the OVC needs are to be met, the community approach will be the only way out (working with community based organizations).

Research has shown that there are a number of organizations in the community that are willing to join the fight to reduce the plight of the OVCs, however they do not have the capacity to, both financial and human capacity. The government of Nigeria has not adequately responded to this matter.

This is a huge gap that motivated the OLIVE LEAF Foundation’s Regional OVC-Support Initiative (ROSI) intervention funded by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); to strengthen organizational capacity of the community based OVC-serving organizations to respond holistically to the plight of the OVC.

This was one of the main reasons why OLF was set up in Nigeria. The OLF/ROSI Nigeria has strengthened over 25 organizations and enjoys formal relationships with 15 of these organizations.

The impact of the ROSI programme is felt through the 15 organizations, who initially served approximately 500 OVC in total before the ROSI intervention, now serve over 5000 OVC, providing quality and holistic services in Lagos.

The OLF/ROSI model and approach has been so successful in Nigeria that it is currently been used to strengthen community organizations in other parts of Africa like; Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia through the OLF/ROSI facilitators in Nigeria.

The acceptance of the model by the Nigerian government will assist in strengthening OVC serving organizations in other parts of the country, through the collaboration of OLF/ROSI facilitators and the Ministry of Women Affairs in-charge of the OVC in Nigeria.

The OLF/ROSI programme is regarded as a commendable model for programming in Nigeria, with community and government buy in. The OVC partners currently receive funds from international and local donors to carry out OVC interventions. This success is attributable to the resource mobilization skills acquired at ROSI workshops. The government’s buy-in and its involvement, communities and donors will ensure the sustainability of OLF/ROSI programme.

Itumeleng Komanyane receives award
26-01-2010

The 'Thari ya Sechaba' awards pay tribute to women who have served as outstanding citizens and role models in Botswana. In addition, the awards also recognize women who have made a lasting contribution to social and community development. Itumeleng Komanyane, OLIVE LEAF Foundation’s Technical Assistant in the family Wellness and Development Programme was nominated in the ‘Educator’ category which sought nominations from formal teachers and non-conventional teachers like peer educators and HIV/AIDS educators.

Out of hundreds of nominations received, Itumeleng was shortlisted for the finals competing with Mrs. Mandisi Vanqa, who and is the CEO of the YWCA Botswana. With an interesting twist to the competition, Mrs Vanga previously served as Itumeleng’s mentor during her training as a Peer Educator in the same organisation. Itumeleng was awarded the finalist position (runner up) and prize.

This award is Itumeleng’s second national recognition award after receiving the First Youth Award in 2001, for Personal Development and Leadership. Itumeleng’s work as a Youth volunteer, peer educator/counsellor and activist in Botswana began in 1994 and to date, she has served on various executive committees and boards as a youth representative. Itumeleng has represented Botswana at various platforms such as the UN special session on HIV/AIDS, The China-Africa Trade youth exchange, and the Tibotec Global Access Advisory Board for ART (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson).

OLIVE LEAF Foundation would like to congratulate Itumeleng on this recognition of excellence and commitment to development in Southern Africa!