Multi-programme a great help

2018-07-26 06:01
Vivian Zilo and staff in class with the Iliso Pre-School Leaners PHOTO: simamkele mbanga

Vivian Zilo and staff in class with the Iliso Pre-School Leaners PHOTO: simamkele mbanga

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Vivian Zilo, founder of Iliso Care Society is a force to be reckoned with.

She began a feeding scheme for women suffering from TB in 2005 after assisting in a research program conducted by the Desmond Tutu TB Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

The researchers’ goal was to discover why patients were defaulting on treatment.

Vivian conducted a survey in the Khayelitsha’s Site C and found that patients could not afford a meal to have together with their treatment.

She then identified a need for a soup kitchen in the community and started a Food Nutrition Programme.

Since then, the programme has become much bigger and feeds up to 300 people daily. They distribute food to 24 centres in Khayelitsha. Zilo also noticed that a lot of the women that she caters for are single mothers and have no one to take care of their young ones.

She then came up with the idea of starting a crèche. The Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme started in 2006 with just nine learners but the number of children has since increased to nearly 60 learners. The ECD has Grade R and pre-Grade R (children from ages three to six) and the kids receive three nutritious meals daily.

“In 2011, the Iliso Library opened when a tourist from Hong Kong visited and saw the need for a library by donating a container and books. Every now and then schools and some people will donate books for the library,” explained Zilo.

Iliso also runs three other programmes, including Iliso Tutorial-with the focus on maths and English, offering tutorials to learners from 10 different schools in the township.

A life skills programme, in which they visit schools and discuss social issues affecting learners, including substance abuse, gender-based violence, bullying, HIV/Aids, stress, and teenage pregnancy. And the third programme, which is named You Only Live Once (Yolo).

This specific programme targets the 14 to 17-year-olds. It includes house visits and family care plans and cover topics such as sex, self-esteem, and decision making.

According Uyanda Rhubutshe – a volunteer and tutor at Iliso – the Yolo programme makes a huge difference in the kids’ lives.

“The response is quite amazing. We discuss things have difficulty discussing with their kids with the parents and that helps bridge the gap between the kids and their parents,” he said.

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