Children's Rights Centre (CRC)

We seek to contribute to the development of a sustainable child-friendly society in South Africa, with child-friendly policies and practices at all levels of society based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, African Charter on the Rights & Welfare of the Child, and the South African Constitution. We do this through awareness-raising, training, monitoring, advocacy, information sharing and building a children's rights movement including children and adults as partners.
May 9, 2012

My Living Positively - Yezingane Network Report

Children's booklet and the adults guide.

Global Giving report – My Living Positively                           May 2012


The My Living Positively booklets have been in high demand recently as organisations see others using the booklets. The information and guidance given in both the adult and child versions have been shown to be invaluable in communicating to children how to live with HIV positively as well as how adults can effectively support children living with HIV.

The books include information such as what is HIV, how to live with HIV, understanding ones changes in the body from HIV, understanding medicines (especially Antiretrovirals), HIV and discrimination, how best for adults to speak to children of different ages about HIV, and much more. Throughout the book there are opportunities to creatively participate with the educational material including drawing and colouring in.

Yezingane Network is a civil society network of networks made up of organisations working to address the impact of HIV and AIDS on children, families and communities. The Network represents the Children’s Sector on the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), and is one of nineteen Sectors that constitute the Council.

(Click to see SANAC – Children’s sector website and Yezingane Network Facebook and Website).


Recently we held a membership recruitment campaign and many new Yezingane Network members joined, and each new member (now a total of 110 new members at the time of writing this article) has received copies of the My Living Positively booklets as well as other Yezingane Network Publications. Additional grassroots level organisations have also received these valuable information resources. All Yezingane Network Provincial Representatives are currently receiving more My Living Positively to distribute to other grass root organisations. A total of 848 My Living Positively booklets and a total of 738 Helping Children with HIV booklets (a guide for adults) have been distributed between February and April 2012 in all languages.


At the moment these booklets are in three languages, namely, English, Zulu and Xhosa. We are currently planning (depending on funding received) to translate these books into Sesotho because of the expressed need for these booklets in the Limpopo Province.


These booklets are having a major impact in lives of children across South Africa and you the donor are to thank for your support in this project. It has been extremely encouraging to see the increased demand for the My Living Positively Booklets and to see the increased distribution across the country. Thank you for your support and we hope that we are able to continue to distribute these valuable publications across South Africa to children living with HIV/AIDS.


Feb 9, 2012

Report 6:Supporting children with HIV in S.A.

Global Giving Foundation: Support the wellbeing of children with HIV in SA

Report 6: (February 2012)

Compiled by Hema Somai (Children’s Rights Centre)

Best wishes to all our Friends for 2012! It has been a year of success and we look forward to increasing those achievements this year.

Children’s Rights Centre distributed 1076 My Living Positively Handbooks and the Helping Children Living with HIV booklets between October and November 2011 in English, isiZulu and isiXhosa languages. This is a significant achievement which confirms the value these books have for children living with HIV and AIDS.

A few copies were requested by the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union who distributed at a conference these at their ARV Programme for Pediatrics[j1]  in Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal Province. Lesedi Educare requested 300 each of the Handbooks and Adult Guides in English in November 2011which they shared with children attending the Pelonomi Hospital’s Tswelopele HIV/AIDS Clinic in the Free State. In 2009/1010 this organisation ordered 1000 of the My Living Positively Handbooks for use in the same clinic. They reported that our books were welcomed by the doctors and children alike, therefore prompting the request for the second consignment.

We also shared 550 copies each of the books with eMpathy Trust, Southern Africa located in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, who used the books for information sharing. This province continues to have the highest HIV prevalence rate in South Africa and high levels of infant mortality. Linzi Rabinowitz from eMpathy Trust praised they My Living Positively Handbook by saying: “eMpathyTrust has mostly worked in schools, but more and more our work seems to be extending to home/health care workers in communities so your book is an invaluable resource! Many thanks”.

Three hundred and fifty copies of the books were distributed to the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation located in Cape Town in the province of the Western Cape. This was the second time this organisation requested these books, having reported that “...the children loved them”.

Two hundred books were distributed to the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Cape Town, Western Cape province. These books will be used for information sharing and distribution to the children living with HIV and AIDS.

Sinikithemba is the McCord Hospital’s HIV care programme, located in Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. One hundred copies of My Living Positively Handbooks and Guides were distributed for information sharing purposes and use by their pediatric clinic.

Sixty copies of the Handbook were shared with The National Association of Child Care Workers distribute for information sharing in November 2011.

Sixty copies were also shared with an orphanage located in the Limpopo Province by organisation Keep the Dream.

We hope that in the coming months to distribute our books to more organisations in all of the 9 provinces in South Africa, to ensure that children living with HIV and AIDS have their right to treatment, care and support fulfilled.


Oct 10, 2011

Sucess in supporting children living with HIV/AIDS

Global Giving Foundation: Support the wellbeing of children with HIV in SA

Report 5: (October 2011)

Created by Hema Somai, Children’s Rights Centre (Global Giving Project Leader)

We are so excited to have finally reprinted 3 000 copies of our English My Living Positively Handbook! Thank you to all the individuals and organisations that gave so selflessly to this project to ensure that children living with HIV and AIDS would have a book they could call their own  to help them understand what it means to be HIV-positive. We are also reprinting the English Adult Guide, Helping Children Living with HIV, which is a companion booklet for caregivers and adults living and working with children who are HIV positive, and hope to have these available before the end of October 2011.

Since reprinting the English Handbook in September, we have distributed copies to the Waterberg Welfare Society, a non-profit organization based in the province of Limpopo in South Africa.  In Limpopo the HIV-prevalence rate among women attending antenatal clinics (15-49 years) in 2008 was 20.7%. The prevalence rate of children aged 2-14 years was 3.9% in 2008. Almost 1 out of every 5 children in Limpopo has lost one or both biological parents.

The Waterberg Welfare Society is running a HIV clinic in the area of Vaalwater, and wants to start a support group for paediatric HIV patients - which would likely be the first paediatric HIV support group in the Limpopo region. The Managing Director of the Organisation contacted us because she and the clinic counsellors believe that the ‘My Living Positively Handbook’ would be a great platform to start a support group for their Stepping Forward Program. This program is their community outreach program promoting education and testing for HIV. They also have an adult support group, but are eager to start one for children and adolescents. We are very enthusiastic to support and guide Waterberg Welfare Society as they embark on this new project and hope to report on their progress in the coming months. To read more about this organisation and the work they do visit

Towards the end of September our organisation, Children’s Rights Centre in partnership with the National Department of Health, Child and Youth Directorate and the many other stakeholders who, because of their determination to address the challenges of HIV status disclosure to children, took the first steps to begin formulating National HIV and AIDS Disclosure Guidelines for Children. During 2010 we investigated the issue of HIV and AIDS disclosure, and one of the recommendations from this exercise was the pressing need for the development and implementation of a national framework on disclosure that could serve as a basic guideline for disclosure practice across a variety of contexts. Most commonly, paediatric disclosure issues are addressed as part of healthcare guidelines that deal broadly with treatment, care and support of children living with HIV. However, there is no definitive stand-alone resource dealing exclusively with the challenges of HIV-status disclosure to children of all ages, including adolescents, and which deals with different contexts and specialised considerations for example, disability, abuse, and so on.

We are glad to say that the meeting was a success, and the National Government Departments together with civil society organisations have paved a way forward in terms of the development of these guidelines. A task team has been set up comprising of National Department of Health, Children’s Rights Centre and Witswaterand Paediatric HIV Clinics.

Another exciting development has been the launch of the Clearinghouse for HIV and AIDS disclosure for children. This is a unique worldwide resource centre on HIV and AIDS disclosure materials, resources and information for parents, caregivers and health care professionals working with children around HIV and AIDS disclosure. The clearinghouse also contains examples of tools that illustrate useful practices, links to websites, and other resources that provide further information on issues related to HIV and AIDS disclosure. In addition to this wonderful new website, we have also launched the Disclosure mailing list, which allows us to communicate with people who are interested in learning more about what materials and resources are out there to support the disclosure process. To learn more about the Clearinghouse please visit


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