In early 2008 Project HOPE used the successful experiences of the Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) project in Mozambique to launch a pilot Village Savings Fund (VSF) project in the informal settlement of Munsieville, West Rand, in partnership with The Haven (a local NGO). The program built the capacity of over 300 caregivers of vulnerable children providing them with a mechanism to save and receive loans to start up small businesses. In addition, comprehensive health education was also provided as part of the program. This was the first VSF project that Project HOPE has undertaken in a peri-urban environment. Other firsts were the all-male groups that were formed, providing specific “male-friendly” health education and services, and the community gardens that were set up to provide nutritional support.
Project HOPE now has a signature program in South Africa – The HOPE Centre. Located in Zandspruit in the outskirts of Johannesburg, this project in partnership with local NGOs, government and academic stakeholders is focused on educating local communities about chronic diseases - especially diabetes and hypertension, provide clinical services for the treatment and management of the diseases and support through peer group education.
Project HOPE and affiliate, Project HOPE-United Kingdom, are working together to better the health of the people of South Africa.
Refilwe Lechoba is a program assistant at the HOPE Centre in Zandspruit, South Africa, focusing on noncommunicable diseases.
In 2012, the HOPE Centre was established to help meet the need. Tshuma is thankful for the services being offered at the HOPE Centre.
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