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South Africa Digging at the roots of the HIV/AIDS pandemic
May 7, 2009
Voices of Hope Story May 10
“Let’s us not just look at caring for people; let us also try to liberate people’s minds… liberate hearts.” — Lulu Boxoza, founder of Temba House
When the staff at Temba House found women returning to their HIV/ AIDS shelter, not seeking health care but rather refuge from poverty and violence at home, they knew they had to deepen their community response.
When health care services fall short, it’s women who fill the gap. They care for the sick and the dying at home, in addition to their ongoing responsibilities. Furthermore, there are few homes in South Africa that have not opened their doors to care for the orphaned children of relatives. With support from PWRDF, Temba House provides regular stipends for its home-based caregivers, which not only confirms the value of this work but also increases the independence of the women workers. Temba House also works at changing harmful behaviours and unequal relationships between men and women. They are raising up a new group of leaders in the Men as Partners project that encourages men to play a
positive role in the fight against the pandemic. These men are articulating a new image of masculinity that is responsible and caring, and they are playing an active role in the lives of orphaned children. The people at Temba House know that when men and women work together, they can build a movement that not only cares for people’s bodies but also liberates hearts and minds.