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Feb 19, 2019

And we are off!!

Fund raising through GlobalGiving 

We can’t believe it is already 3 months since the 27th of November and the huge success of GlobalGiving’s 2018 GivingTuesday. The response was fantastic and we reach far more than the personal target we set for ourself. We were able to raise a whopping $2400. We are humbled by the amazing support. With the funding we raised through GlobalGiving we will be able to pay for training for three seamstresses, buy the fabric for the first batch of 2000 reusable sanitary pads, and pay our team a salary for the next year.

 

Selection of staff

With the money raised we were able to start the process of selecting candidates for the our project. We decided that we would only start with three candidates to get the initial training to make the first batch of sanitary pads. We picked three wonderful ladies that we knew from a previous project, that all had some form of formal training in sewing, making them the perfect candidates for the first stage of the project. They also have hearts of gold making them a joy to work with.

 

Training

 

Although our first three candidates are all skilled seamstresses, making reusable sanitary pads is a complicated project. A lot of emphasis is put on quality control. Making a high quality project is of the upmost importance. These pads must be able to serve the recipients for up to three years. To insure that our team delivers the best product possible, we are in talks with another organisation in the reusable sanitary pad sector, to help us train our team of seamstresses. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we want to learn from the best. We aim to have this partnership locked down in the coming weeks and to share the exiting details with you in our next report.

 

Equipment

We are lucky enough to already have 4 sewing machine available for our team to work on. These machine will need to be maintained and funds for this would need to be raised either through the Global Giving platform or through funds generated through the selling of reusable sanitary pads.

 

Distribution

Because Hlokomela's main focus is health care, we already have an existing network for distribution as our not-for-profit medical clinics reach more than 20000 young women and girls annually. We have however also been in talks with numerous other organisations in regards to the distribution of our sanitary pads. There are multiple organisations in our area already giving out disposable sanitary pads to school girls and women. The projects have shown interest in moving away from disposable sanitary pads and to rather give out reusable pads. This is a great opportunity for us to further diversify our distribution channels, but also to have these organisations spend there money on our pads rather than spending it on disposable products. This gives us the chance to make the projects slightly more sustainable and helps us build a business out of reusable sanitary pads that will in the long run help our team of seamstresses with permanent employment.

 

This project is off to a great start and we would like to thank our GlobalGiving friends and donors for your amazing support over the last 3 months!  You make all the difference to our work here at the Hlokomela.

 

 

Jan 29, 2019

TRE helps clients to overcome trauma and face life

TRE group session
TRE group session

Since our last report in November 2018, our newly trained Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) community facilitators have been hard at work! Thanks to the funds raised by our GlobalGiving family, they are bringing relief to individual clients as well as Hlokomela field staff on a weekly basis.

Who have we helped?

Staff in game lodges, local business, and farms in the Hoedspruit area and poor rural communities in Maruleng Local Municipality benefit from sessions with our two on-staff TRE facilitators, Tshepo Lewele and Kgopotso Manamela. From November 2018 to January 2019 these ladies conducted TRE sessions with 19 clients. All Hlokomela staff have access to either one-on-one or group sessions with the in-house facilitators. Our Nompilos (health workers) and peer educators also attend sessions. This helps them a lot as they are working in the field on a daily basis and need relief to counteract burnout tension. Our trained community facilitators facilitated one-on-one TRE sessions for 11 farm workers during the reporting period. These sessions were conducted at their places of work - a great benefit of the service as farm workers don’t need to take a lot of time off from work.

Will more community facilitators be trained?

With support from our friends in the GlobalGiving community, we plan to launch another round of training for 10 new community facilitators from March to September 2019. These facilitators will be based on farms as well as in the communities, where poor health conditions, violence, abuse, and poverty often result in compassion fatigue, indirect trauma and anxiety as well as personal stress and trauma.

Success stories

A local lodge owner brought one of her female staff members to Hlokomela after the young woman survived a very traumatic car hijacking. Tshepo says: “the client was struggling a lot as she was unable to sleep and concentrate at work”. “During the session, I could tell that her body was overwhelmed with tension and she reacted very well to the TRE technique. After attending two TRE sessions with me, she is able to drive and perform her duties at work again”. Another female client was referred to Hlokomela after losing her 6-year-old son in a very traumatic drowning incident. The lady couldn’t focus at work and suffered from sleeplessness for two weeks after the incident. “ I did a one-on-one session with her and she released a lot of the tension that was stored in her body. After the session she slept much better!” says Tshepo.

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Jan 22, 2019

Hlokomela Women's Clinic provides some feedback!

                              Hlokomela Women’s Clinic Report

                                                  

                                                    

 

We are excited to reflect back on the last 3 months at the Hlokomela women’s Clinic.

2018 has been an award-winning year! Literally. The Hlokomela Women’s Clinic was nominated for a Community Chess Impomelelo Social innovation award.

We won a Gold award! The award ceremony was held at the prestigious Art scape Theatre in Cape Town on the 28th of November 2018. Along with this very honourable award, came a R30000-00 cheque.

The women’s Clinic decided to allocate the funds toward the production of re-useable sanitary towels.

With over a million South African girls missing school every year, due to not being able to afford sanitary products, we believe that investing in this project will allow us to help many young girls, not only for one or two months, but for much longer periods of time. Allowing them to attend school and obtain an education. This is the right of each child in South Africa.

No girl’s education should ever be hindered by the inability to obtain sanitary products.

Referrals

 

As mentioned in previous reports, one of our greatest challenges remains the referral system for patients with possible malignant findings in their breasts.

 

As also previously reported, negotiations between the Breast Health Foundation, Discovery Health and Hlokomela Women’s Clinic, it has now become possible to refer patients to a Breast Clinic in Johannesburg. The Helen Josef Hospital’s Breast Clinic now allow for patients from the Hlokomela Women’s Clinic to consult with the amazing team of doctors and specialist, under the lead of Professor Carol Benn. Prof Benn is well known all around the world for her research, and ground braking work in the breast oncology field. 

 

We are proud to announce that we currently have 5 patients under the care of Prof Benn and her team. Each patient at a different stage of diagnosis and or treatment.

 

The Breast health Foundation, under the guidance of their CEO, Louise Turner and Discovery Health, has generously agreed to take care of travel costs from Hoedspruit to Johannesburg as well as to provide accommodation to patients while undergoing testing or receiving treatment.

 

 

16 Days of activism against women and child abuse

 

On Saturday 8 December 2018, a group of farm workers, Hlokomela employees and members of the community, participated in a fun walk, in protest against the abuse of women and children. The high summer temperatures we experience here in Hoedspruit, and it can be extremely hot with mercury rising to mid-40’s (degrees Celsius) did not prevent us from part taking in this very important event. The day ended with one of our local farms, Rederberg Estate, hosting a friendly soccer match. The day was filled with music, fun and an awareness of the cause.

 

 

 

The “bra” drop

 

 

During the last 18 moths of working with female farm workers, it has become apparent that so many women do not own the correct fitting under garments. Many women simply cannot afford to buy bra’s or wear wrong sizes handed down to them from family members or friends.

The Hlokomela Women’s Clinic identified the need and decided to launch a project called The Bra drop. This project allows for the donation of new or previously loved bra’s to the women’s clinic. These garments are washed and sorted according to size.

When a patient enters our clinic and the need arises, we go through out stock of bra’s and find the correct size to fit the patient.

We have had a great response with this project and we hope to help many women in 2019.

 

We are very excited about 2019. We trust that we will help/ guide and continue to provide much needed breast cancer screening and other women’s health related screening to our farm workers and extended communities.

 

Team Hlokomela Women’s Clinic


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