COMMUNITY CHEST’S CHRISTMAS TREAT BOXES
Community Chests’ very own Santa Claus, Christian Dlamini, made his first visit to Ashdown Zinhle Creche on Friday, 4 December 2020. It was their graduation and they were all smiles upon receiving their Christmas Treat Boxes from Santa.
Community Chest is most grateful to the staff of Auditor General S.A. for putting so much jolly love into getting the boxes done for the children. As they enter Grade 1 in 2021, they will always remember that Covid-19 did not stop them from having a lovely Christmas ?thanks to Community Chest and the team of Auditor General of S.A.
A huge thank you to Comrades Marathon Association for affording Community Chest an opportunity to be part of their Amabeadibeadi Charities for 2021-2023. Together we can continue to provide nourishment and sound education for our children within the Early Childhood Development Sectors, raising up the next generation despite of our current situation.
A huge thank you to our Superhero Lungile Dlamini for not only raising funds and running for Community Chest over many years, but also supporting our Christmas Treat Boxes this year and adopting 11 children with the assistance of her friends and family. Her love and commitment towards supporting deserving children is truly appreciated.
Community Chest wishes everyone a blessed Christmas and a safe & healthy New Year.
HACT CELEBRATES 30 YEARS OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND HOPE
On World AIDS Day, 1 December 2020, staff and patients at official Comrades charity, the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust (HACT) gathered for an extra special candle lighting ceremony to mark 30 years of providing unconditional love and hope to people impacted by HIV/AIDS.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the charity was forced to postpone their plans for a major anniversary celebration this year and opted instead for a small gathering which was held outdoors in the Centre’s beautiful memorial garden.
As HACT’s CEO, Candace Davidson explained, “While we were all initially excited at the prospect of commemorating this important milestone with our friends, donors and partners from around the world, our team agreed that this was not the time for big celebrations, but rather an opportunity for reflection and solidarity in the wake of what has been a very difficult and challenging year for us all, especially those HACT exists to serve.”
Originally founded in 1990 by the Hillcrest Methodist Church, HACT was one of the first NGO’s in South Africa to respond to the emerging epidemic and has since grown into a dynamic, multi-faceted organisation whose holistic and innovative approach to assisting those infected and affected by the disease has seen them win multiple awards over the past three decades including the prestigious Dira Sengwe Leadership in AIDS Award in 2015 and a national Impumelelo Social Innovation Award in 2017.
While HACT’s projects and services continue to grow throughout KwaZulu-Natal, the charity still focuses on serving the semi-rural and disadvantaged communities of the Valley of 1000 Hills such as Inchanga, Drummond and Embo which the Comrades Marathon’s iconic route winds through. Here, the charity’s work directly impact the lives of over 10,000 people every year, the majority of whom are women and orphaned and vulnerable children and young people.
Speaking at the charity’s moving candle lighting ceremony, HACT’s Chairlady and registered Nurse, Sister Julie Hornby commented on the remarkable journey the charity has been on since its humble beginnings in a rusty container on the local church’s property. “As an organisation, we have always tried to be responsive, growing and adapting our projects as the needs of our beneficiaries have evolved with the epidemic. From providing free in-patient care to those in advanced stages of the disease who have no-one to care for them at home, to supporting rural grandmothers struggling with the financial and emotional burden of caring for their orphaned grandchildren, we remain committed to providing practical support which makes a meaningful and lasting difference in people’s lives.”
In closing, Julie added that there is much progress that both HACT and South Africa can celebrate in terms of fighting the disease, “however, the fact we still have children and adults dying of HIV/AIDS right here in our 24-bed Respite Unit of what is now considered a chronic and manageable disease, shows that we still have a long way to go and the fight is far from over.”
HACT has recently been selected for a second term as one of the six official Amabeadibeadi charities and is looking forward to partnering with more local and international runners in 2021 and beyond to continue its life-saving and life-changing projects. “All of HACT’s projects are completely reliant on the generosity and goodwill of the public and we continue to be blown away by the kindness and support of the local and international running community. Our Comrades runners are just the best!” added HACT’s Marketing & Fundraising Manager, Claire Hodgkinson.
For more information on HACT and its many projects, please visit their website: www.hillaids.org.za or follow them on Facebook @HillcrestAIDSCentreTrust.