Project HOPE has a long history in Africa – beginning in the mid-1960s with a visit of the SS HOPE to Guinea. Currently, our programs in Africa focus on the continuing AIDS pandemic and its devastating impact on families, Tuberculosis control, humanitarian assistance and the growing need for chronic disease education and prevention. Our blog chronicles some of the day to day triumphs and challenges associated with our health education programs and the people we serve.
In early October, Project HOPE’s South Africa country director and headquarters program officer for chronic disease, attended the high level African Diabetes Leadership Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The meeting was hosted by leaders in global diabetes and brought
together academics, policy makers, government officials, researchers and
non-profit organizations to discuss the burgeoning situation of
diabetes on the continent of Africa.
Results from this forum will
feed into the United Nations’ meeting on chronic disease, to be held in
September 2011. As the numbers of people with diabetes grows and the
impact of the disease takes its toll on individuals, families and
country economies, this important area of health has come to the
international forefront. Many African countries are facing a rising tide
of diabetes as people move to urban areas. Across income levels, people
are adopting new lifestyles with decreases in activity, consuming more
convenience foods and lacking access to clean water and fresh foods.
experts reported on the impact of diabetes on the health care systems,
economic productivity, infectious disease like tuberculosis and HIV, and
the alarming death rates due to complications such as heart disease,
amputation and kidney disease. Everyone was in consensus that action
must be taken and it must be taken quickly to stem the tide of this
serious health care challenge.
Over the last few weeks, Project HOPE South Africa has been busy designing and putting together a new and exciting project that we are hoping to launch very soon. The project is called the HOPE Centre. It will become a centre of excellence for community prevention, early detection and treatment of non-communicable diseases with a focus on diabetes, based in Johannesburg.
As part of the preparation work, Project HOPE approached the Director of Blue Parrot, Debbie Roberts, to help us design a brochure that encapsulated the heart of the project that we could send out to interested parties to raise funds and generate support for the project.
The team at Blue Parrot was amazing, and within a short time, we had this wonderful HOPE Centre brochure designed and printed and thanks to Blue Parrot's generosity, at no cost to Project HOPE.
As a token of our appreciation we held a little thank you celebration today with the staff to thank them for their work and to keep them up to date with how the project is developing.
Blue Parrot is just one of a number of partners that have come on board with Project HOPE South Africa to help launch this new project.
Please check back soon to find out more details about the launch date of the project and to hear more about the various partners that Project HOPE South Africa will be working with.
Check out our newest video from one of Project HOPE's Village Savings and Loans (VSL) groups in Guija District, Mozambique. Our VSL programs not only incorporate savings techniques but lifesaving health education. In this video, HOPE staff is conducting health pre-tests to determine the groups’ level of understanding around certain health topics. HOPE then takes this information and tailors our health education program around the results. Towards the end of the project, we will conduct a post test and compare the results. This encourages the groups as they can see where they have improved, and also helps Project HOPE in showing us how effective we have been in our training and what we need to do to improve it.
Check out our video from my recent visit to one of Project HOPE's Village Savings and Loans groups in Guija District, Mozambique. It is so inspiring to watch the VSL groups master the savings techniques that HOPE has taught them. Everybody was excited about putting a little bit of money away each week knowing that it was safe and that it would benefit them at the end of the year when all the money is divided up.
Thanks for visiting and please check back soon for another video from the Guija District VSL group. -Stefan
couple of weeks ago I was able to head out into the bush with our staff
to visit our Village Savings and Loans groups in Guija District,
Mozambique. This was a really neat experience for me firstly because I
have never been to Guija before, and secondly I was anxious to see how
our new project was getting on and if it was making the impact that we
believed it would when we designed it.
into meet one of the groups you realise how far away you are from
anything – town, tar road, shops etc. These people live off the land and
off remittances that are sent from family members working in South
Africa. The thing you notice right away is that there are not too many
men around the place. This is because the majority are working legally
or illegally in South Africa.
Life for these women consists of
getting up early each morning and fetching water at a well which also
serves as a meeting point to chat with friends and neighbours. Then its
back to prepare some breakfast and off to the fields to tend to crops.
unlike neighbouring Chokwe is not as fertile and so its much harder to
produce enough food to eat. The afternoons are spent around the house,
looking after the children, maybe collecting some firewood and attending
VSL group meetings before cooking dinner and going to bed.
It was wonderful to sit with some of our VSL groups and watch them master the savings techniques that Project
taught them. Everybody was excited about putting a little bit of money
away each week knowing that it was safe and that it would benefit them
at the end of the year when all the money is divided up.
reason for my trip was to conduct some health pre-tests. Basically this
involves asking a set of questions to each group to determine their
level of understanding around certain health topics.
HOPE then takes this information and is able to use it to highlight
certain ares that need improving. We tailor our health education and
then towards the end of the project we will conduct a post test which is
the same set of questions and compare the results. This then encourages
the groups as they can see where they have improved, and also helps
Project HOPE in showing us how effective we have been in our training
and what we need to do to improve it.
Check back for some videos from my visit in the coming days!