Provided by HACT

Photo Credit: Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust

Description: SLF partners are adapting to ensure community members have access to health and nutrition supports during restrictions to movement and market closures due to COVID-19 responses.

Location: South Africa

COVID-19 Appeal

Our community-based partners are best placed to protect and support the most vulnerable populations. People affected by HIV and AIDS are particularly at risk, and must not disproportionately suffer the impacts of COVID‑19. 

Here’s how you can help

The Stephen Lewis Foundation needs your support to make sure that our grassroots partners have the resources they need to keep vulnerable communities healthy and safe during these challenging times. With lockdowns in place, access to food and medicine limited, people cut off from support groups, and under-resourced healthcare systems under strain, our community-based partners provide a lifeline to people affected by HIV and AIDS. They’re the critical support systems that communities need, and they’re well positioned to adapt to emerging challenges posed by COVID-19. 

Please consider making a donation if you are able.

HACT women with boxes
Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust, in South Africa, is adapting to ensure community members have access to health and nutrition supports during restrictions to movement and market closures due to COVID-19 responses. Photo provided by HACT.
self defense class
A surge in violence against women and girls is linked to school closures and restrictions to movement. Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust, in South Africa, empowers girls by ensuring that they know their rights, and with skills for identifying risk, and self-defense. Photo provided by HACT.
nurse treating woman
With the established networks of care and trust needed to reach community members during lockdowns and restrictions to movement due to COVID-19, SLF partners continue to support grandmothers and older persons. Here, a field nurse with ROTOM, in Uganda, cares for a grandmother at her home. Photo provided by ROTOM.
frontline workers
Facing the intersecting pandemics of HIV and COVID-19, frontline staff at Mamelani Projects, in South Africa, work to ensure community members with compromised immunity are able to adhere to HIV treatment, and stay healthy. Photo provided by Mamelani Projects.
Part of their holistic response, Positive Life Kenya provides education for children affected by HIV and AIDS. With health and safety protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, this resilience-building work continues. Photo provided by PLK.
man with supplies on bike
Effective responses to the HIV and AIDS and COVID-19 pandemics include nutrition. SLF partners are best placed to support community members most affected by the intersecting pandemics, including those living in hard-to-reach areas. Aaron Akansinguza, a ROTOM Field Assistant, delivers food packages to grandmothers in Uganda. Photo provided by ROTOM.
HIV self testing kits
LGBTIQ communities in sub-Saharan Africa face intensified discrimination and human rights abuses linked to COVID-19, and barriers to HIV prevention, treatment, and care. Icebreakers Uganda is supporting community members through home deliveries of HIV self-testing kits and lifesaving medication. Photo provided by IBU.

Our partners are telling us about how they’re working to address needs arising from the emergency response to COVID‑19

Stepping Stones International, in Botswana, in response to increases in gender-based violence (GBV) during COVID-19, has social workers making weekly calls to every individual and family enrolled in their programs, to do wellness checks, assist in cases of GBV, and work on ways to curb GBV.
Swaziland Nurses Association, in Eswatini, has prioritized establishing kitchen gardens, backyard gardens, and community gardens for their beneficiaries, given the impact of the national lockdowns and social distancing policies on access to nutritious food. 
Health Options for Young Men on HIV, AIDS & STIs (HOYMAS), in Kenya, has procured a motorbike to deliver anti-retroviral medication and nutritious foods to clients who might otherwise not be able to adhere to their HIV treatment in the face of COVID-19.

“The world is immersed in a grave and unprecedented public health crisis that permeates every sphere of our lives. We are all obliged to be rigorously engaged in actions that contribute towards mitigating and eradicating propagation of this cruel virus. Be courageous. Let’s all take care of each other.”

— Clotilde Vianculo, Program Manager at Kukumbi, an SLF partner in Mozambique

Grandmothers Against Poverty and AIDS, in South Africa, is providing food parcels, along with gloves and hand sanitizer to their members. They’re also providing a safe space and nutritious meals to support children’s well-being while schools are closed.
Health Development Initiative, in Rwanda, has launched a hotline to provide counselling services for their clients. Using local radio, Whats App, and social media they’re sharing accurate information about how to stay safe and protected from COVID-19.
Kiambu People Living with HIV/AIDS, in Kenya, has advised all clients to report to their clinic for a 3-month supply of HIV antiretroviral medication, so that they may remain on treatment while there are enforced restrictions on movement.

“It’s so amazing, because the big organizations cannot reach the local level, but we are here and we are with the community. We are hands on. Even during lockdown, we can carry on supporting the community. Thank you for understanding us. Without your method of support, this community would be suffering a lot.”

— Sthembile Ndlovu, Director at Izimbali Zesizwe, an SLF partner in South Africa

The SLF is grateful for any donations, as we understand that these are difficult times for many. Together, we can help safeguard the progress that grassroots organizations have made in turning the tide of AIDS, and prevent COVID-19 from having a disproportionate impact on their communities. Your donation will make a difference for grandmothers, children and youth, people living with HIV and AIDS, and LGBTIQ communities across sub-Saharan Africa. 

As an act of solidarity in this time of global vulnerability, please make a donation today.