Chest beneficiaries receive R2,3?mln

2010-03-31 00:00

MORE HIV-positive mothers and their children will now be able to make the trip to Edendale Hospital to collect their antiretroviral treatment thanks to a grant from the Community Chest to a young and innovative organisation known as the Positive Moms’ Foundation.

And more senior citizens living in the Oribi and Grange areas will be able to receive food parcels and other assistance from a non-profit organisation called the Thandaza Usebenze Senior Citizens’ Club.

The Positive Moms’ Foundation and Thandaza Usebenze are among seven new beneficiaries of the Community Chest, which yesterday announced its beneficiary allocations for the 2010/2011 financial year at a function held at the Maritzburg Golf Club.

A record R2,3 million was distributed among 55 registered non-profit organisations, the highest number of beneficiaries since the Community Chest’s inception in 1960.

In celebration of the Community Chest’s 50th anniversary this year, each beneficiary has received an additional grant — an amount representing one-twelfth of each organisation’s annual grant. The grants range from R6 500 to R143 000.

Other new beneficiaries include Reach Out, Mpolweni Child and Family Welfare Society, Othandweni Community Service Centre, Thandaza Usebenze Senior Citizens’ Club, Justice and Women and the Cancer Association of South Africa.

The KwaZulu-Natal co-ordinator of the Positive Moms’ Foundation, Joy Cole, said the R13 000 from the Community Chest will make a real difference to the foundation’s work for the year.

The foundation, which operates out of the paediatric HIV and Aids section of Edendale Hospital, provides transport money to HIV-positive mothers and their children — mainly from rural areas — so they can travel to the hospital to receive regular treatment.

Until now, transport has been a critical but missing link in the ability of rural women and their children to access HIV treatment, particularly when they live in rural areas.

The Positive Moms’ Foundation, which started in Cape Town, has been operating in Pietermaritzburg for just under a year.

The chairman of the Community Chest’s allocations committee and Community Chest treasurer, advocate Tim McNally, yesterday praised the efforts of director Aroo Naidoo and his staff, who have managed to meet a fundraising target of R2 million in spite of the recession.

Naidoo thanked the beneficiaries whose work on the ground, he said, had convinced donors to support the Community Chest.

“Without you, the foot soldiers, no amount of money in the world could make so big a difference in the lives of so many,” he said. He also thanked corporate donors for their commitment during challenging times.

For more details, contact Aroo Naidoo at 033 394 1031.

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