October 25, 2010

Dear Kidzpositve Family Fund and Donors to the Pedal for Peddie project,

It has already been five months since funds were donated to the Keiskamma Trust on behalf of the donors and supporters of the Pedal for Peddie fund-raising bicycle ride. The funds you managed to raise were substantial and I would like to take this opportunity to report back to you on how your donations were put to use in our work with the villages of the Peddie Health District in the Eastern Cape.

We decided as a team to divide the R 130 000 between the three programmes that needed funding the most at the time: The Art project, Health Programme and Education and OVC (Orphans and Vulnerable Children).

We also designated an equal portion to support the salary of our new Managing Director, Thabang Meslane who is instrumental in implementing the operations of each of the programmes of the Trust, especially the logistics that go into our Health programme and providing access to it for rural villages that are remote and needy of health counselling and treatment. Thabang took on the position of Managing Director in July of this year and with it an increase in salary and over-all responsibility. Thank you for helping us make this a possible. We couldn't do it without him - Thabang is essential to the over-all functioning of our programmes.

Hamburg Hospice Hamburg Hospice

R 32, 000 went to the Art Project. In September the Art project was very pleased to obtain three new heavy-duty sewing machines that we could purchase because of your fundraiser. This will help ensure the ongoing production of quality arts and crafts by the women who work in the art project regularly. Access to an income-generating opportunity in an area where there is over 90% unemployment is most important. Many of the women who work for the Art project are the primary wage-earners in their large extended families. In the past five months the Art project was able to employ on average 130 women. In addition to the sewing machines we bought we could also purchase additional materials and supplies for the Art project so that our overheads could be kept down and women could earn more from their work. Thank you on behalf of the Art Project for your generosity and support as we strive to create meaningful income generation possibilities for the women of Hamburg, Bodium and Ntilini.

Income Generating projects

R 32,000 was allocated to the Education/OVC programme of the Trust which has centres in three different villages: Hamburg, Lover's Twist and Mgababa. The Trust is currently providing daily food for almost 500 children in the after-care centres, crèche and nursery.

Some of the funds generated went towards the feeding scheme for the 3 centres. They also helped to fund an expanded team of caregivers and support staff at Lovers Twist, where apart from the five carers working at the centre, there is a large parttime support staff (4 cooks, 1 cleaner, a gardener and 2 security guards.

The progress at the centre in Mbagaba has been very exciting during the last five months as well—the building has been completely repaired and equipped, new carers have been employed and the number of children benefitting from the services provided has almost doubled.

The community there has approached the Trust to set up a nursery for children from the age of 1 to 3 years. The Mgababa community is very poor with serious social and health problems. There are numerous small children on ARVs, whose families are unable to feed them adequately. A community volunteer has joined the staff as two carers are overstretched caring for so many small children. The after-care staff also assists with cooking and caring in the mornings.

Meal time at the Mgababa Nursery Meal time at the Mgababa Nursery

Educational resources and play equipment were bought with some of the proceeds of the Pedal for Peddie initiative, and the centre has recently planted its first batch of vegetable seeds in the newly created vegetable garden. Thanks to all of you for helping us with the feeding and care of these children who need our assistance and interventions in Mgababa and Lover's Twist.

The same amount of R 32,000 was allocated to our Health Programme which has experienced significant challenges in the past five months as well. As some of you may already have heard, over the past several months there has been a disruption of anti-retroviral drug delivery over to rural clinics in the Eastern Cape Province. In fact many of the clinics have also not received their regular shipments of basic pain medications, diabetes drugs and medicines that treat TB. For six months we have been battling to find out the cause of this and to advocate for rural patients right to consistent treatment. In the meantime we have been forced to step in to ensure that our own patients still received ARVs and that means that we have had to purchase the drugs ourselves. We have, in the past 7 months, spent close to R 200, 000 on ARVs and other basic medicines as we have tried to rescue care where the government system was lacking. A significant portion of the proceeds of the Pedal for Peddie event have had to go towards the purchase of these drugs.

As health care workers and advocates in a severely under-resourced area, you will appreciate that we have made commitments to patients in our care and need to ensure that ARVs are available.

ARV distribution

In September the government was able to supply ARVs to our patients, and most have received their drugs in October as well. We struggle to ensure that drugs get to where they need to go, or that patients get to where the drugs are—so our transportation costs are high. The rest of the funds allocated to Health went to our petrol bills and the maintenance of our patient transport vehicles. We provide the only transportation system in the 50 villages we work in, so that we are providing an essential service in this remote rural area. Thank you for helping us ensure that desperately ill patient got to hospice or hospital care, or that drugs are delivered to local clinics.

www.keiskamma.org

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