From Rejection to Resilience: Neo's Journey

Towards an HIV Free Generation

Born into a world shadowed by HIV, Neo Methule's story is one of resilience, hope, and the transformative power of support. At the tender age of one, Neo's life took an unexpected turn when she tested positive for HIV, a legacy unwittingly passed down by her mother. Left in the care of her paternal family, Neo's journey was marked by struggle and a sense of abandonment.

But amidst the darkness, a beacon of light emerged in the form of the Ikageng team and the Preventing HIV/AIDS in Vulnerable Populations (PHVP) program. Attending Family Care Day at Zola clinic in 2020, Neo was welcomed into a community of support, where regular home visits and counselling became the cornerstone of her journey to wellness.

With steadfast support, Neo's viral load was eventually suppressed, marking a pivotal moment in her journey. Empowered by the Vhutshilo 3 program, Neo found her voice, bravely sharing her HIV status and embracing her identity with newfound confidence.

Today, at 17 years old, Neo stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Despite years marked by anger and rejection, Neo has emerged stronger and more determined than ever. Embracing her family bonds and excelling academically at Aurora Girls' High School, Neo's aspirations know no bounds.

As we celebrate Neo's triumphs, let us also honour the transformative power of programs like PHVP and the unwavering support of organizations like HIVSA. Together, we can create a future where every individual, regardless of their HIV status, can thrive and fulfill their potential.

Join us in celebrating Neo's journey and supporting our mission to build a world free from HIV/AIDS. Together, we can make a difference.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

HIVSA secures USAID Grant to Empower Children and Adolescents Affected by HIV in North-West Province.

Johannesburg, April 2024 - HIVSA is excited to announce that it has received a significant grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This grant will support HIVSA in implementing the "Children, Adolescents and Families in the HIV Epidemic in the North-West Province" (CAFHE) program.

HIV and AIDS continues to have a major impact on individuals and on community structures in South Africa, including families. The North-West Province has one of the highest HIV prevalences in South Africa. It is further challenged by severe poverty, a huge surface area housing a scattered community, and limited human resources. The Southern and Bojanala regions have the highest HIV ANC prevalence rates in the province (31.1% and 30.4% respectively, the provincial rate being 26.7%)

The HIV and AIDS pandemic affects all children, because it changes the nature of the society in which they live. The quality and availability of health, welfare and education systems are deteriorating because of demands created by this epidemic. Research conducted by Delport (2007:48) indicates that some social workers in the North-West Province handle more than 200 foster care placements per year.

Adolescents are highly vulnerable to HIV acquisition than adult because of the transition stage of their development and the need to adapt to the rapid biological, physical and structural changes in their lives. Adolescent girls remain a high priority towards ending the HIV epidemic. Prevention programmes must address gender inequalities driving excessive risk among adolescent girls by engaging men during early stages of adolescence around harmful gender norms related to HIV. Therefore, there is a need to strengthen the adolescent component of national HIV programmes to improve the effectiveness of the HIV response especially for out of school and unemployed youth.

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Background

HIVSA is a South African non-profit organisation established in 2002 and specialises in designing, implementing, and monitoring Health and Community Systems Strengthening programmes in partnership with Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and other stakeholders. HIVSA pursues its mission through direct service delivery, technical assistance, and capacity building. In the 21 years since its formation, HIVSA has secured notable achievements, including becoming a prime recipient of USAID funding since 2012.

 Context and Scope

HIVSA notes that the non-governmental sector has become very competitive, with a heightened requirement for sound financial management, corporate governance and an effective sustainability and business development strategy. To respond to these challenges, HIVSA is seeking to appoint Non- Executive Directors with skill sets and experience in the following areas:

  1. Business Development

Terms of Reference - Business Development

The Non-Executive Director will be appointed to provide governance oversight expertise related to Business Development and operations strategy of the organisation, helping HIVSA to innovate and look for break-through ideas to build a game-changing portfolio of new businesses (by identifying business weaknesses and challenges and determine relevant solutions). In addition, the role will include providing guidance on best practices for further developing current donor relationships to maximise the impact of their funding.

The ideal Non-Executive Director must meet the following criteria:

  • Proven track record in business innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategy development.
  • Supporting HIVSA’s efforts to build the right processes, structures, innovation ecosystems and relationships, is essential for its business development strategy. This entails helping HIVSA to come up with its customised action plan to build new businesses.
  • Advising the CEO and the Board on the review, implementation and monitoring of the HIVSA Strategic and Financial Sustainability Plan.
  • Supporting the HIVSA Communications Strategy to enhance branding to improve the value proposition for different potential stakeholders, partners and donors; identify opportunities and guide HIVSA to develop appropriate documentation for accessing financial resources and secure short-term and long-term sponsorship and project funding opportunities.
  • Experience in at least one of the following areas: business development, marketing, organisational development, financial management, entrepreneurship, fundraising and resource mobilisation. (with evidence of successful fundraising/resource mobilisation efforts).
  • Previous board-level experience with specific experience in the NPO/NPC and USAID environment is highly recommended.
  • At least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline such as business administration/management, marketing, organizational development, strategy development, finance, entrepreneurship, or similar.
  • A firm understanding of resource mobilization practices and standards relevant and how to apply them for an organization like HIVSA.
  • A good track record of delivery at board level and the skills to represent and promote the organisation within its own networks and as required.
    Sound judgment, analysis and decision-making skills; and the ability to provide a challenging and supportive role to the CEO and other Exco members.
  • Proven corporate governance skills.

Other important information:

  • Please note that this is a voluntary position and does not carry any remuneration. However, the organisation will compensate board members by way of an emolument.
  • Applicants should be willing to serve as a Non-Executive Director on HIVSAs Board for a minimum of four years.
  • Interested candidates should submit a short motivation and 3-page summary of their CV, with names and contact details of 3 contactable referees.

Due date for submission of CVs: 17th of January 2024

CVs to be submitted to Lynn Lee: leel@hivsa.com

TERMS OF REFERENCE TO PROCURE A SERVICE PROVIDER TO STRENGTHEN A MENTAL HEALTH MANUAL 

HIVSA’s Community System Strengthening program seeks to appoint a service provider or individual on a short-term basis with expertise in training and training material development. The applicant must have extensive knowledge of mental health and wellness related to HIV/AIDS and vulnerable populations in South Africa. The service provider is required to assist HIVSA in revising and strengthening its mental health manual so that it may be utilised by Community-Based Organisations (CBOs).

  1. SCOPE OF WORK

The service provider is required to:

  • Utilise HIVSA's existing mental health manual and feedback received from a prior review as a basis to develop an 8-session manual for supervisors to use at CBOs as a debriefing tool for community care workers.
  • The activities in the manual must assist the community care workers to build resilience to cope with their own stressors, so that they are able to cultivate healthy behaviour and perform their duties to support families affected by HIV/AIDS, TB, and COVID-19-related losses.
  • Train a team of 20 HIVSA staff members to implement the manual.
  • Provide timely feedback on the progress made, challenges and recommendations.
  1. QUALIFICATIONS / COMPETENCIES OF SERVICE PROVIDER

  • Proof of training experience and training material development in the HIV/AIDS and/or mental health fields with evidence of success of implementation.
  • Knowledge and understanding of USAID/PEPFAR OVC programs in South Africa.
  1. DELIVERABLES

The service provider is to deliver on the following:

  • Sign a non-disclosure agreement and mutual confidentiality (NDA)
  • Following consultation with HIVSA and utilising previous feedback received, structure a plan with timelines and deliverables.
  • Produce a final health and wellness manual and related training material that is ready for implementation.
  • Train HIVSA staff on the implementation of the manual.
  1. APPLICATION PROCESS

Interested service providers are required to submit a company profile demonstrating the relevant experience to Fortune Phiri (phirif@hivsa.com) by no later than 12 pm on Friday, 22nd of December 2023. Shortlisted service providers will be contacted for a briefing session in January 2024.

For further information in respect hereof, please contact Fortune Phiri via email at phirif@hivsa.com or telephonically at (011) 494 1900.

INTRODUCTION  

 HIVSA Procurement and Procedures require that we establish an approved database of preferred suppliers. HIVSA invites interested service providers to submit proposals to be added to the Preferred Supplier database. The intention of HIVSA is to streamline its process to ensure effective and efficient expenditure control within its supply chain, whilst ensuring that HIVSA meets its service delivery goal. HIVSA is therefore calling on service providers in the fields below to provide company profiles (Including tax clearance certificates and any other relevant documents as detailed below. Qualifying suppliers will be added to the HIVSA Supplier database, please note that existing suppliers are also required to resubmit to be considered for the new financial year.

HIVSA is governed by its Procurement and Policies Procedures, the relevant legislation, and general conditions of contract when sourcing quotations and /or bids from prospective suppliers, HIVSA reserves the right to have a list of prospective suppliers and to utilise these suppliers on a rotational and needs-based basis.

General Conditions for Applicants

It should be noted that HIVSA reserves the right to accept or reject any application made by a prospective supplier.

HIVSA reserves the right to verify any information contained in the applicant’s submitted documents through internal vetting processes. Any discrepancies which may arise during the process may result in the application being unsuccessful.

Applicants who have failed to submit the minimum requirements will not be considered.

All relevant attachments must be attached to the email along with the rest of the required documents.

Once successfully registered as a preferred Supplier, a service provider will be subjected to regular performance reviews and could be deregistered if the required service levels are not met.

Registered suppliers will be contacted by HIVSA telephonically and via email to source quotations. It is therefore imperative that all applicants submit correct contact details.

The onus shall rest upon the applicant to inform HIVSA of any changes to the status and or information of their business, in which case certified proof together with a new supplier database registration form and attached documents will be required to effect the changes.

HIVSA will not be liable for any consequence whatsoever which may arise due to the failure of an applicant to update their information on the database when any change occurs in the business information which affects the registration.

It is important, for all applicants to note that the successful registration on the HIVSA supplier database will not guarantee the applicant any business opportunities.

Preferred suppliers are reviewed and renewed annually, and the same process of registration may be followed.

HIVSA is currently reviewing service providers for the following supplies and services:

Category                                                                   Quotation /Proposal Template

Accommodation and Conferencing             Quotation-for-HIVSA_201_Conferencing and Accommodation

Offsite Printing                                             Quotation-for-HIVSA_202_Offsite Printing

Printing Paper                                               Quotation-for-HIVSA_203_Printing Paper

Stationery                                                      Quotation-for-HIVSA_204_Stationery

Catering                                                         Quotation-for-HIVSA_205_Catering

IT Equipment                                                 Quotation-for-HIVSA_206_IT Equipment

Printing of Merchandise                               Quotation-for-HIVSA_207_Merchandise

Accounting and Payroll support services  Terms-of-Reference-for-HIVSA-Payroll-and-Accounting-Backup-Support-and-Monitoring

Vendor registration form                               HIVSA-Vendor Registration Form

SUPPLIERS DATABASE FORM DOWNLOAD

Each of the above categories has a quotation template that can be obtained on the HIVSA website http://hivsa.co.za.  template must be completed for each category and submitted with the rest of the required documents.

This application represents an expression of interest from the supplier to be added to the HIVSA preferred supplier database. The application will be assessed, and should it be successful your details will be maintained amongst a pool of preferred suppliers who will be contacted when a sourcing opportunity or requirement arises.

Suppliers will be selected based on B- BBEE rating, Experience, Proof of capacity, location and Price along with completeness of required documents as indicated under “Minimum Requirements. ’You will receive an email notifying you of the outcome of this registration in February 2024.

HIVSA reserves the right to verify all credentials submitted therein prior to qualifying any supplier as a preferred supplier.

Minimum Requirements                                                                                                   

COPIES OF THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS MUST BE ATTACHED TO APPLICATION FORM:

Company and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) of South Africa Company Registration.

Original Valid Tax Clearance Certificate.

Certified ID copies of all Directors of the company.

B-BBEE Certificate (Level 1 Preferred) or Sworn Affidavit (Depending on the turnover).

Stamped Bank details.

Brief company profile (2 pages maximum).

Must be based in the provinces HIVSA operates in (Gauteng). Proof of Business Address must be supplied.

Proof of Accreditation/Certificate (Health Certificate for Catering service and SETA for Training Services, PDP, etc.).

At least 3 reference letters from companies with similar services in the past 24 months. NGO experience preferred.

Motivation indicating capacity and experience in the area applied for (1 Page).

Should include the quotation or request for service schedules.

Completed Supplier Registration Form.

Instructions for Email submissions:

Submissions should be made to phirif@hivsa.com no later than the 31st of January 2024.@ 17.00.

The email header/subject should clearly indicate the Application Reference Number for which your company ai applying e.g., Stationery: (HISA 204).

If the documents cannot be sent in one email, the read: (HIVSA 204 Batch 1) and the second email should read (HIVSA204 Batch 2).

If the service provider is applying to be considered for more than one area each area/category must be applied for in a separate email with all relevant documents attached.

Late submissions will not be considered.

According to the CDC, “mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act.” Since many individuals spend most of their day in the workplace, the role of mental health to ensure productivity and optimal functioning cannot be overly emphasized. As leaders of organisations and businesses, we have an additional if not, more important role in ensuring the well-being of our teams in the workplace.

In a recent session held with non-managerial team members at HIVSA, termed “In Conversation with the CEO,” our team openly expressed that while the security of a monthly income was important, being able to meaningfully contribute and having a voice to express thoughts, ideas, and solutions made them thrive. Being acknowledged for the role played in the organisation beyond individual job descriptions was equally important and often overlooked. Others expressed the importance of constructive and developmental feedback to direct their work and contribute to their own professional development and mental health.

Too often, leaders get caught up in the meeting of targets and appeasing of external stakeholders while forgetting the paramount importance of the well-being of our teams who make things happen and contribute to organisational goals and achievements. In our own missions to ensure organisational sustainability, compliance, and good governance, we overlook the importance of staff contribution, commitment, and loyalty and how positive mental health is a driver of these factors.

As leaders, we also need to acknowledge the importance of our own mental health and well-being as we steam ahead in our day-to-day activities. Self-reflection and “tuning in” to our own physical, emotional, and social well-being are equally important as we fulfil our various leadership responsibilities. Often, our own behaviour, both positive and negative, towards our teams serves as a good barometer of our own well-being and warrants stepping back to course-correct.

This year’s World Mental Health Day theme “Mental Health Is A Universal Human Right,” reminds us of the equal importance of mental health and well-being for all mankind. It personally challenges me as a leader and serves as a reminder that my own mental health is critical and important to leading a dynamic organisation and ensuring the mental well-being of my team. It starts with me.

Background

HIVSA is a South African non-profit organisation established in 2002 and specialises in designing, implementing, and monitoring Health and Community Systems Strengthening programmes in partnership with Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and other stakeholders. HIVSA pursues its mission through direct service delivery, technical assistance, and capacity building. In the 21 years since its formation, HIVSA has secured notable achievements, including becoming a prime recipient of USAID funding since 2012. 

Context and Scope

HIVSA notes that the non-governmental sector has become very competitive, with a heightened requirement for sound financial management, corporate governance and an effective sustainability and business development strategy.  To respond to these challenges, HIVSA is seeking to appoint Non-Executive Directors with skill sets and experience in the following areas:

  1. Social and Behaviour Change Communication and/or Research
  2. Marketing and/ or Public Relations
  3. Fundraising and/or Business Development

Terms of Reference

1. Terms of Reference- Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) and/ or Research

The Non-Executive Director will be appointed to provide strategic guidance and support for the organisation’s SBCC and the research thereof for competitive positioning within the sector. Research expertise in the social sciences generally or in the SBCC field specifically would be an added advantage.

2. Terms of Reference- Marketing and/ or Public Relations

The Non-Executive Director will be appointed to provide governance oversight and expertise related to marketing and or Public Relations to the organisation, assisting HIVSA to strategically position the organisation competitively through marketing and public relations interventions.    

The NED is required to have extensive experience in the marketing and public relations sphere as well as networks and relationships to support the organisation’s marketing and public relations endeavours. 

3. Terms of Reference- Business Development

The non-executive director will be appointed to provide governance oversight and expertise related to Business Development in the health and wellness sector. The individual is required to assist HIVSA in innovating and looking for breakthrough ideas to build a game-changing portfolio of new businesses (by identifying business weaknesses and challenges and determining relevant solutions).  In addition, the role will include providing guidance on best practices for further developing current donor relationships to maximise the impact of their funding.

The candidate should have a proven track record in business innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategy development. Support should also be provided to the organisation’s efforts to build the right processes, structures and innovation ecosystems and relationships, essential for its business development strategy. This entails helping HIVSA to come up with its customised action plan to build new businesses.

The ideal Non-Executive Director must meet the following criteria:

  • Previous board-level experience with specific experience in the NPO/ NPC environment.
  • Open-mindedness and willingness to engage with a wide stakeholder group from diverse national, regional and professional backgrounds.
  • Advising the CEO and the Board on the review, implementation and monitoring of the HIVSA Strategic and Financial Sustainability Plan.
  • Exercising leadership, enterprise, integrity, and judgement in directing HIVSA to achieve continuing impact and sustainability for HIVSA’s work.
  • Sound judgement, analysis and decision-making skills; and the ability to provide a challenging and supportive role to the HIVSA Executive Team that is developmental in nature.
  • Willingness to commit their time to meeting attendance and provide other support to the organisation as needed.
  • Outstanding leadership, teamwork, listening and influencing skills.

Other important information:

  • Please note that this is a voluntary position and does not carry any remuneration. However, the organisation will compensate board members by way of an emolument.
  • Non-executive director positions are tenable for a minimum of four years.
  • Interested candidates should submit a short motivation and 3-page summary of their CV, with names and contact details of 3 contactable referees.

Due date for submission of CVs: 28th of September 2023

CVs to be submitted to Lynn Lee: leel@hivsa.com

On Monday, the 31st of July 2023, we celebrated a big milestone: Our #ChomaMagazineTurned10! We are proud to celebrate Choma’s 10 years in service.

Yashmita Naidoo, HIVSA Chief Executive Officer

Yashmita Naidoo, HIVSA Chief Executive Officer

So, a few things you probably didn’t know about Choma:

  • Our very own Charlize Theron was present at the launch of Choma on the 31st of July 2013;
  • When Choma was conceptualised, it initially sat under a programme area called “Bokang Batsha ”, which means “Celebrating Young People”.
  • Since inception, Choma has interacted with more that 5 million users, many of whom are now young adults in the 25 to 30 age group, and now grappling with motherhood;
  • Between 2013 and 2015, the highest number of users were accessing Choma through a social media platform that was called MXIT. How many of us remember MXIT 😊?
  • The Choma Dreams Cafés were launched to take Choma online to an offline safe space.

We are proud to see the journey that Choma has travelled to date and the role that each and every one of you has played in contributing to this growth. We are proud of the contribution Choma has made to the many lives of adolescent girls and young women, as well as the adolescent boys and young men that have walked alongside their sisters and partners towards an HIV free generation.

Choma Magazine

On Monday, the 31st of July 2023, #ChomaMagazineTurned10! 

We haven’t walked this journey alone. We have walked with amazing partners at community level and corporate level, as well as within the donor community, all of whom trusted Choma to be the instrument that contributes to a reduction in the high levels of HIV infection in girls and young women.

Choma Magazine is committed to gender equality, reduction in high HIV transmission rates in girls and young women, as well as seeing women gain economic freedom through achieving their highest aspirations in all spheres of their lives.

Neo Mohajane keeps the engagements going …

With commitment and focus, on Thursday (22 June) HIVSA’s HSS Programme Director, Neo Mohajane kept the engagements going by moderating a panel discussion themed “Acting decisively to end the epidemic”. Amongst the panellists was United States ambassador to South Africa, ambassador Reuben Brigety II, who recommitted the US’ support for South Africa’s HIV response, followed by the WHO’s resident representative to South Africa, Dr Norbert Kaluwa, who indicated that South Africa is on track to ensure its preparedness for future and emerging health threats. Another panellist, Prof Norbert Ndjeka who is the Chief Director for TB Control and Management, under the National Department of Health in South Africa, told delegates that although integration of TB and HIV services is working well and the proportion of people with HIV in the TB cohort has decreased, more still needs to be done as 10% of TB patients do not know their status and mortality is still high among TB patients.

Prior to the panel discussions, Dr Thembisile Xulu, CEO of the South Africa National AIDS Council (SANAC) unpacked the new NSP on HIV, TB & STIs (2023- 2028). She observed that the new NSP requires significant financial investment to the tune of an estimated R268m to be fully operationalised. The role of evidenced-based programming was also illustrated by Prof Khangelani Zuma of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) who spoke about the importance of surveillance in informing policy and strategies. “We can only manage what we know”, he says.

 

Reflections from the SAAIDS Conference:

At the plenary session of the conference yesterday, 21st June, the co-chairperson of the South African National Aids Council and Chair of the Civil Society Forum, Steve Letsike, reflected that with the world’s largest ARV programme, no one living with HIV should be dying of HIV and AIDS in our country. Letsike reflected that without psychosocial support interventions to anchor the HIV treatment programme, we become a ticking time bomb as a nation.

Other key themes emerging from yesterday’s deliberations include an exhortation from speakers, to continue focusing on the structural drivers of the HIV and TB epidemic, and to not lose sight of the fact that all of these epidemics are experienced by the same person. The same *Mbali who is 22 years old, is the same Mbali who is HIV positive, with a 5-year-old child, has been raped multiple times in her young life and is going through intimate partner violence from the father of her child. Solutions therefore need to take an integrated approach to ensure that at each level, from the community to the clinic, to the police services where Mbali seeks help, her needs are met holistically.

These reflections give impetus for HIVSA and its community partners to continue providing much-needed psychosocial support to communities infected and affected by HIV, as we continue striving towards ending the HIV pandemic by 2030 globally.

We also learned that the search for an HIV vaccine continues and that long-acting injections for TB treatment and HIV might be closer than we think, which will reduce treatment burden and fatigue.

Another key theme that has been threaded throughout the conference is the focus on young people and HIV and AIDS, with a focus on both prevention and removing the barriers to HIV treatment for young people. In her remarks at the opening ceremony on the 20th June, KwaZulu-Natal’s Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu noted that young people have been neglected by social and behaviour change communication interventions, which she felt, is lamentable.

HIVSA’s Choma online magazine Chomatherefore has its work cut out, to continue engaging with girls and young women.

SAAIDS

SAAIDS

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