News | 21 Apr 2016
NACOSA was pleased to get a visit from Jenny Bornman, the Deputy Director of Lesedi Hospice in the Free State who came all the
way to update us on the organisation’s progress since receiving capacity building support from NACOSA.
“The positivity of our programme is that it takes a holistic approach toward the whole family,” says Jenny proudly of the range of interventions Lesedi provides in the small, Free State community of Hertzogville where almost 95% of inhabitants are unemployed.
With the motto “where caring never ends”, Jenny and the team provide primary health care and palliative home based care for communicable and non-communicable diseases, as well as early childhood development and care for orphans and vulnerable children. The whole family approach includes psycho-social, mental and physical health care and cognitive development. Lesedi serves over 1,000 people living with HIV and has grown and developed with capacity building support and resources through the NACOSA Orphans and Vulnerable Children Community Systems Strengthening programme, funded by USAID and PEPFAR.
“The change that this programme has brought is on the individual,” continues Jenny. “Being able to identify and get care for people with TB and HIV and particularly testing the children, which can be difficult.”
In the beginning, the community was not coordinated but with the forums and circles of support, Lesedi has been able to get all the community involved from police to community leaders and everyone in-between. “There has been a marked change. Our relationship with the clinic is excellent now and referral systems are working well.”
As a non-medical site for HIV testing services (HTS), Lesedi provides a critical service in a community with no doctor. “We can dispense medication and we got equipment from Anglo American to test and do CD4 Counts,” explains Jenny. They have trained an auxiliary social worker to do the counselling.
Jenny found the leadership development of staff members one of the most helpful aspects of the capacity development provided by NACOSA. “We don’t have a big turnover of staff,” she notes. Understanding the legal aspects was also important: “This empowered the community to understand their rights and responsibilities.”
“Our project has grown a lot – it has given us a new vision.”
Lesedi’s success is spurring other ideas and growth: “We are going to start a new programme as a result of the research we have been doing with pregnant teenagers. We are going to work with these mothers in street-based groups to develop the children, emotionally and socially.”
And Jenny’s advice for other organisations doing this kind of work? “If you don’t monitor and evaluate, you can close your project. You must develop instruments and tools – now we are auditing the files of our home based care group and monitoring their plans.”
“NACOSA has extremely high standards,” says Jenny with a smile.
Find out more about Lesedi at www.lesedihospice.co.za