Chairman – Cardinal Napier
Vice Chair – Fr. Barry Wood
Treasurer – Tony Cooke
Secretary and Parish Mobilisation Representative – Caroline Howlett
Youth Representative – Mkhanyisi Luthuli
Sinosizo HBC/OVC/Training Project Representative – Liz Towell
CIE Representative – June Rehman
When the AIDS Care Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Durban was established in 1987, its first concern was an educational one: spreading information about HIV/AIDS through talks in churches and schools.
As we moved into the decade of the 90’s the Committee decided that, while continuing educational work, it would involve itself as far as possible in Home Based Care and began a project in 1995 called Sinosizo, which means “We Help” in Zulu.
Main areas of concern are to provide holistic Home-Based Care. The primary function being education of people with HIV/AIDS and their family members, the provision of symptom management and pain control for people in the terminal stage of AIDS, achieved only with the help of community based volunteers.
In doing the above, the HBC programme then identified Orphans and Vulnerable children, who require ongoing support during and after the death of their parents. The children are then orphaned and quite often left in the care of the eldest sibling or an extended family member. Generally the caregiver is the grandmother who is too old and usually not financially fit enough to care for the grandchildren as well as one would wish.
This leads back to the issue of support. Support of the infected and affected members of the community, support of the caregivers and volunteers, as well as support of community initiatives.
To support community initiatives, the committee considers local parishes a significant source of assistance for these under-resourced communities. Their community parishes are often extremely poor and unable to cope with the increased demand placed on them. These parishes have now begun to link/twin with nearby parishes who are slightly more affluent. The combined effort lends support to the local communities and allows all the parishioners to participate in bringing about change.
Though significant change is a long-term goal, the necessity to bring about urgent change in attitudes, behaviour and acceptance is steadily increasing. With the majority of the youth of today classified as ‘most likely to get infected’, education and messages of behaviour change has been increased. In conjunction with government messages, we are certain of change, though this is a long process.
Having identified these needs, the AIDS Care Commission decided that 4 different committees, representing the various areas of care would be formed, overseen by the AIDS Care Executive Committee.
1. To provide holistic home and community care to people with HIV/AIDS, their families and communities.
2. To identify existing home based care voluntary workers with leadership qualities in order to train them to co-ordinate groups of volunteers in their own community to provide for people with HIV/AIDS.
3. To train community volunteers to enable them to provide information, care and support to people with AIDS in their community.
4. To train primary caregivers of people with AIDS so they can provide for the needs of their sick family members at their home.
5. To provide HIV/AIDS awareness in the communities served by the projects.
6. To train people from other organisations and agencies in home based care to look after both HIV patients and AIDS patients.
7. To act as consultants to other organisations.
8. To engage in research.
Thus, during 2001, CADACC created four new sections, with a comprehensive Training Division:
1. Sinosizo Home Based Care – HBC
2. Sinosizo Orphans and vulnerable children – OVC
3. Parish Mobilisation Committee
4. Youth committee
These committees aim to combat HIV/AIDS and its consequences in all affected communities.