Saturday, February 07, 2009

January Update

CHIPS

The CHIPS (Children’s HIV Intervention Program in Swaziland) is envisioned to be a way to help the 15,000 children in Swaziland who are HIV+ (age 0-14, 2005 estimate). A number we can assume has only increased since then. The goal of the program is to make the available health care accessible to these children and their caregivers.

Jabulani was hired and sent to training for HIV counseling last year. He began working in the Maphiveni community mid-December to generate awareness and help the community to start identifying children who would be candidates for testing. Through the end of January, 141 children and caregivers were transported to the Good Shepherd VCT Clinic in Siteki (84 children, 57 caregivers). Of these, 9 children and 28 caregivers tested positive. Two things to note: as our pre-screening of children improves, the percentage of HIV+ children taken for testing should improve; the second thing is the high percentage of caregivers that are positive. The percentages for adult HIV infection in Swaziland range from the mid twenties to the low forties, depending on whose numbers you choose to use. These high percentages are reflected in the high number of caregivers we are seeing that are positive. It also shows that PMCT (Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission) programs are showing some effectiveness in stopping HIV from being passed to more children (GOOD NEWS). We have chosen to continue to keep these caregivers in the program even though the children they are responsible for are not HIV+. It is essential to keep these caregivers healthy so they can actually care for these children. Swaziland does not need any more orphans!

Kudvumisa Glass Youth Skills Program

Few jobs, poor education, no dreams and nothing to look forward to are a potent mix for promiscuity, sex-for-food, HIV infection and a whole host of other destructive attitudes and behaviors. This is what a large segment of the youth in Swaziland (and for that matter southern Africa) have to look forward to.

We are continuing to develop the skills training program. The goal of the program is to help the youth develop healthy attitudes, uncover their God given talents, abilities and dreams, and develop business and entrepreneurial skills based on Biblical principles of management and finances. We are working with one young woman from Manzini now. She has spent almost a year working with glass etching and has developed a reasonable level of skill and technique. We hope to be able to expand the program to include more youth, classroom space and a computer lab this year.

With that in mind, we will need a teacher who can who can work in the classroom to teach the business and computer skills. So if you would want to invest some time in a project that can truly change lives and you have teaching skills, please pray about this! Of utmost importance is to disciple, teach and nurture a Swazi who can perform these tasks as well.

Family

Teresa is working with the Swaziland Breast Cancer Network (SBCN) to develop a treatment program for breast cancer in Swaziland from scratch (i.e., there is nothing here now). They are also hoping to start a cervical cancer program, again nothing exists here now for treatment (and very little in diagnosis). There is believed to be a high correlation between cervical cancer and HIV. Daran continues to preach at the Christian Family Church in Tambankulu under Pastor La’Salette Duarte. He has also received an invitation from a local church in Nkoyoyo. All the children are back in school, starting the new year. Gabby has started year one of the International Baccalaureate program while Danielle and Nathanael begin Form 3 (grade 9) at Waterford. Joelle begins grade 5 at Sifundzani Primary. They are all involved in church, soccer and various other sports at school.

We would ask that you pray for two things for us here (if God puts more on your heart, please be obedient): protection: physical and spiritual; and wisdom and discernment for the effective implementation of the programs we’ve started here.

Daran’s trip back to the States last year was a great success and we are grateful for everyone who helped make it one. He met many new friends who made him feel like family. As we look forward to funding requirements through the remainder of this year and into the next and we look at support from all sources (one-time and annual gifts, monthly support, stipend from SBCN), we still have a monthly shortfall of approximately $1000USD. We would ask that you share our ministry work and vision within your circle of friends and associates.

Blessings & Peace!

Daran & Teresa

Gabby, Danielle, Nate, & Joelle


www.AfricanLeadershipPartners.org

African Leadership Partners, Inc.

PO Box 994044

Redding, CA 96099-4044

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