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Funds raised through the Mayoral Aids Fund were distributed to seven needy charities, one in each City region, to help their work of caring for others.
PEOPLE infected with and affected by HIV and Aids in Johannesburg received a dose of winter warmth when Executive Mayor Amos Masondo distributed cash from the Mayoral Aids Fund to beneficiaries at the Joburg Theatre on 10 May.

 

MMC Bengeza Mthombeni Mountainview Healthcare Centre reveices a cheque from MMC Bengeza MthombeniThe seven recipients were Tswaranang from Region A; Helping Hands from Region B; Thulani Dlamini from Region C; Sizanani from Region D; Albert Luthuli Home Based Care from Region E; New Life Centre for Girls from Region F; and Mountainview Health Care Centre from Region G.
 

Funds were raised through the mayoral charity golf day, which has been held annually since 2005. “The golf day is one of the City’s programmes that generates funds and helps in supporting various community initiatives,” he said.

“The main beneficiaries are non-governmental organisations whose work centres on vulnerable groups in general and HIV and Aids in particular. It supports, amongst others, orphans, child-headed households and destitute families.”

Since its inception, the initiative has raised over R8-million. It was conceived by the Johannesburg Aids Council (JAC) and is a conduit for distributing donations to the most needy and supporting local initiatives that are both sustainable and affordable.

JAC was launched by the City in November 2001, and although it is chaired by the executive mayor and constituted of members of the mayoral committee, the majority of its members are individuals representing different sectors such as sports and recreation and the media.

“Our goal remains that of seeking to primarily change behaviour, mitigate circumstances and conditions of those affected and infected, as well as add all our voices to the broader campaign aimed at ensuring greater awareness,” Masondo said.

 

Corporate companies join the City to play golf for charityCorporate companies join the City to play golf for charity (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)The Mayoral Aids Fund targets groups of people who would not normally be funded, according to Masondo, and all the City’s departments and municipal-owned entities can be mobilised to assist with it.
 

The selection process used to decide on the beneficiaries of the money each year is vigorous and is guided by how badly each organisation needs financing. Each City region needs to identify three potential beneficiaries; whereafter, the director and three deputy directors of the HIV and Aids directorate narrow these down to one NGO per region.

Final recommendations are considered by the executive director of the City’s health unit, Refik Bismilla, and the mayoral committee member for health, Bengeza Mthombeni.

This year, the funds were distributed as follows: Tswaranang received R100 000 to help it buy furniture; Helping Hands received R166 000 to upgrade its building, which was allocated to it by Joburg Property Company; Thulani Dlamini received R166 000 for a porta cabin, as did Sizanani and Mountainveiw; Albert Luthuli Home Based Care received R100 000 for a porta cabin; and New Life Centre for Girls received R90 000 for industrial sewing machines and 10 computers.

Tswaranang takes care of approximately 300 orphaned and vulnerable children. Because of the rapid growth in the numbers of children at the shelter, it has to expand and therefore needs furniture. The NGO benefits children in the Masakhane and Ivory Park communities.

Helping Hands supports 98 people living with HIV and Aids; it runs projects such as pottery, cookery and community gardening for them, as well as surrounding community members. It currently operates from a run-down building that needs to be repaired. It is situated in Westbury.

 

MMC for Finance tees off during a Mayorla Golf DayMMC for finance Parks Tau tees off during a Mayoral Golf Day (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)Thulani Dlamini operates from a tiny shack in Doornkop informal settlement, and offers home-based care to 340 people. It also cares for 60 orphaned and vulnerable children.
 

Sizanani offers home-based care to 87 people and also provides support to 205 children. In addition, there is a drop-in centre for poverty alleviation. It operates in the Meadowlands Hostel, Mzimhlophe Hostel, Killarney and Meadowlands Zone 1.

Albert Luthuli Home Based Care operates in Alexandra and takes care of 250 patients, 25 of whom are bedbound and 150 of whom are orphaned children.

New Life Centre for Girls operates in the inner city for commercial sex workers. There are 30 peer educators, 15 sex workers and 55 other vulnerable women in a skills development programme.

Mountainview Health Care Centre benefits the communities of Mountain View, Kapok and Hopefield by taking care of 80 children and providing home-based care to 250 people.

“In the City of Johannesburg, we have said over and over again, that government working alone and in isolation will never adequately address all the complex challenges that face us,” Masondo said. He called on residents to join hands with the government to support initiatives that focused on people infected with and affected by Aids.

“Let me take this opportunity to congratulate all the selected NGOs and wish them well. We encourage them to continue with the good work.”

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