December 1 â€“ International Aids DayOne of every nine South Africans is living with HIV, making South Africa the country with the highest number of HIV infections in the world.
â€œWe are not yet winning this battle [against HIV/Aids],â€ president Jacob Zuma told parliamentarians at the end of October. He said that despite managing the largest rollout of anti-retrovirals in the world, more people continue to be infected and affected by Aids.
He urged people to treat HIV and Aids like any other disease and take responsibility for their health and well-being. He said the only way that the stigma surrounding Aids could be broken was if there was no shame, no discrimination and no recriminations against those with the disease.
What will YOU be doing in your company to stop the spread of HIV/Aids?
VCT, education and behaviour changeNumsa has entered into a five year agreement with the Solidarity Center to help it run its HIV/Aids workplace programme. Brian Shezi from the Solidarity Centre explains.
Numsa is committed to take a lead in stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS, which destroys lives, livelihoods, families, and communities. In October 2008, Numsa in partnership with the Solidarity Center, began a new HIV/AIDS workplace programme, â€œBe Faithful, Be Tested, Be Unionized.â€
The five-year program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the US Presidentâ€™s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. This pilot intervention targets the Gauteng region, which has about 60 percent of NUMSA membersâ€”overwhelmingly maleâ€”who are employed in the metal, auto, engineering, tyre, and other related industries.
The programme supports workplace HIV/AIDS education; voluntary HIV testing, counseling, and services (VCT); workshops aimed at changing male behaviour; and skill development in HIV/AIDS workplace policy negotiations and monitoring. So far, the programme has been implemented in 30 factories, educated more than 6 000 workers and their families about HIV/AIDS, and encouraged some 2 300 workers to be tested for HIV.
In South Africa, the spread of HIV is largely driven by heterosexual contact and characterized by unequal gender dynamics in which men dominate relationships and make critical decisions when it comes to sex.
A series of Solidarity Center sponsored gender workshops run in 2009, led male and female shop stewards, gender coordinators, and other union leaders to make life-changing discoveries.
Men broke down in tears when they recognized the conditioning that had entrapped them and moulded their relationships. â€œ[I realise now that] I have been raping women all of my life without being aware,â€ said one man. â€œThis is what I was taught as a young boy, that a man deserves sex from every woman.â€
Planned visits on December 1Solidarity and the providers that it works with will be going to the Numsa organised-companies below to provide HIV/Aids education and VCT. If you want them to visit your workplace contact Selina Mputhi or Brian Shezi on 011 403 3246 or e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Company Name Date Service providerManganese Metal-Nelspruit From the 30th Nov-3rd Dec New StartScaw Metals (CWI) Vanderbypark 01st Dec 2009 EngenderhealthGraf Tech-Meyerton 01st Dec 2009 New Start
Workersâ€™ fund has created almost 40 000 jobsSince workers gave the equivalent of one dayâ€™s wages to the Labour Job Creation Trust in 1998, more than R40m has been disbursed to over 141 projects around South Africa.
In the process over 38900 jobs have been created.Project manager, Thaabid Adams, says the criteria for applicants is that they must be â€œcommunity based organizations, labour intensive aimed at youth and women for poverty alleviation and to minimize unemployment.â€
In the 11 years of the project they have realised that sometimes there is less risk in bailing out an existing project that is floundering rather than providing support to a brand new project. The next trustees meeting will debate whether to move towards this approach.
Over the last year, the Trust has supported a project to train 142 students from disadvantaged communities to learn a foreign language like German, Portuguese, Mandarin, French at Wits University Language School. â€œStudents also receive life skills tuition and will graduate with a recognised qualification,â€ says Adams.
The purpose of this project is to train young people to be able to communicate with soccer visitors in 2010 and other tourists.
If anyone has a project that they think fits into the criteria for funding, contact Thaabid AdamsProject ManagerLJCTHead Office: Unit 9 Midrand High Tech Village,Superior Road Midrand P.O. Box 32130 Braamfonten 2017Tel: 011 312 9480/1 Fax: 011 312 9482E-mail: email@example.comWeb site: www.jobcreation.org.za