Jul 28, 2015

Bringing HOPE to Itsoseng

In our last update, we shared with you the exciting launch of the HOPE Centre’s Kopano community garden in Zandspruit.  The garden has been a great success, allowing its members to eat and cook with healthy foods while also earning extra income through selling produce to local groups and restaurants.  In honor of International Nelson Mandela Day on July 18th, the HOPE Centre recently brought its community gardening skills to Itsoseng, an informal settlement on the outskirts of Johannesburg.   

”We already have a success story from Kopano Garden in Zandspruit where community members and patients from the HOPE Clinic are involved, working together to make some extra money, learn about gardening, and for most; to better their health”. We see a high interest for creating the same in Itsoseng and want to make it happen.” – says Portia Zulu, Health Education & Training Officer for Project HOPE South Africa.

The goal of the project is to revive Itsoseng’s community’s garden and train its members on how to care for and make it sustainable.  The project will follow the same model as the Kopano garden by promoting healthy lifestyles, reducing food insecurity and creating extra income for community garden members.

Thanks to you and your generous support for the HOPE Centre, more individuals and families will have access to healthy foods and healthier lives! 

To read more about the HOPE Centre, check out our blog


Apr 30, 2015

Fighting Diabetes in India with HOPE

Training participant during learning activity.
Training participant during learning activity.

Diabetes continues to be one of the fastest growing diseases in the world, particularly in India.  According to the WHO, more than 80 million people in India alone could have diabetes by 2030.  In effort to fight the rapid growth of diabetes, Project HOPE has been busy training a cadre of health care workers and government officials to provide education and care to people at risk of or living with diabetes.

To-date, 87 diabetes professionals have been trained through HOPE’s program and demonstrated an 85% increase in knowledge by the last session.  The program has been well received by participants like Nukuratnam, who surpassed his own expectations and goals as a result of the training. 

 “At the beginning of the Training sessions I made a big decision to improve my knowledge levels in Diabetes and Hypertension diseases…As I’ve known Project HOPE’s training officer Rajendra Prasad and seen him putting his heartfelt effort into [the trainings], I decided to give it a go.  Six sessions later, my goal plus extras had been achieved.  I completed my post-assessments with confidence and got through them so easily I couldn’t believe it…None of these things would ever be possible without Project HOPE.  These sessions have become part of my weekly life.”

 - Nukuratnam, Training Participant

With a growing number of highly trained and skilled health care workers, people at risk of or living with diabetes will have access to quality care and be better equipped to prevent or manage their diabetes, directly impacting their quality of life.  This is possible due to generous donors like you!  To learn more about Project HOPE’s work in India, visit our webpage.  

Training Graduates
Training Graduates
Apr 29, 2015

The Kopano Herb Garden: Growing Healthier Foods & Better Opportunities in Zandspruit!

Refilwe in the herb garden.
Refilwe in the herb garden.

“One reason I enjoy working for Project HOPE is we do many important and different things – like screenings, building community gardens and doing pre-clinic home visits – that are all linked together and can help save or change someone’s life.  Every time I go to my work I feel blessed and joyful inside because we know our team is going to make a difference in someone’s life today.”  Refilwe L. Maseko, HOPE Centre Program & Volunteer Coordinator

The HOPE Centre continues to fight diabetes and hypertension in Zandspruit, and surrounding communities in South Africa, through its unique and evolving programs and its dedicated staff. While providing quality patient care, education and patient support programs, the HOPE Centre is constantly implementing new initiatives that support people in the community to live overall healthier lives. Today, we wanted to tell you about the newest initiative launched at the HOPE Centre – a lush community herb garden! 

The driving force behind the Kopano Herb Garden project was HOPE’s Refilwe L. Maseko, the HOPE Centre’s Program & Volunteer Coordinator, who saw the potential of an unused space at the Emthonjeni Community Centre. The project motivates patients and local community members to incorporate more herbs into their diets in effort to reduce salt and spice intake. By engaging individuals in the garden’s cultivation, community members learn how to grow herbs on their own while also creating an ownership of the resulting crops. Garden members not only receive cooking classes through the Centre on how to use the herbs but are also able to sell produce from the garden and share the earnings with the group, providing extra income from members’ families. On the project, Refilwe said: 

“I saw an interest from the community to get involved, for them to earn a bit extra money and a possibility for further ways to increase the health awareness that’s already the high focus for the HOPE Centre. We started small but the interest of the garden has been high, so our garden has grown in to a fantastic lush jungle of herbs.”

The project has been a local success, providing rosemary, thyme, basil, chives, rocket and sage for garden members and a group of local restaurants purchasing the fresh herbs. The garden is being expanded to include garlic, lavender, mint, lemon grass and lemon balm in the future.

With the support of generous donors like you, people in Zandspruit have increased access to healthy foods, financial opportunities and better lifestyles! To read more about the HOPE Centre, check out our blog and our March newsletter.

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