Magnet Theatre – Mildmay Mission Hospital

At Mildmay we envisage a world where all people managing HIV can live a life in all its fullness. Our mission is to respond effectively to HIV and related health issues through specialised care, treatment, training, education and research. We aim to deliver services of the highest quality and constantly seek to improve through listening, reflecting, learning and action.

Magnet Theatre
Mildmay Kenya work to empower communities to deliver HIV health care services through support education and training. They work to reach key-affected, at-risk groups through a variety of projects that reach some of the poorest communities in hard-to-reach areas. Siaya county in Kenya is a poor region that falls far behind the national progress made in fighting HIV. The burden of HIV in Siaya stands at 24.8%. In the province where Siaya County is located, 6.2% of youth aged 15-24 are living with HIV. This is three-times higher than the national youth HIV prevalence rate.

“KAA RADA KUWA SMARTTA” project (an urban dialect expression meaning be careful, be wise) is an educational theatre project targeting Kenyan young people in Siaya County. The project uses performances and community theatre to raise awareness and understanding of sex, sexuality and HIV by retelling the true stories of young people. Through this engagement we help children and young people access HIV testing, treatment and sexual health services.

“KAA RADA KUWA SMARTTA” will increase the number of children and young people in Siaya county who access HIV testing and treatment and sexual health services. Performances will also promote diversity, compassion and understanding, and encourage networking between young people to advocate for better HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) in their area. Through theatre, we want to inspire young people to take action and speak up about barriers to HIV prevention, care and treatment in Siaya county

Medical Centre – Butansi Kamuli

Thank you to The Make A Difference Trust for their generous donation
We are delighted to report that we have received a significant grant from the Theatre Make A Difference Trust—aiming to fight HIV and AIDS one stage at a time—which will go towards our Medical Centre, part of our Community Centre building project.

Now… we are nearer our goal of having the funds to build our Community Centre
As well having the Clinic, this Centre will have a community hall and conference centre — a highly adaptable area with meeting rooms and study areas. Also an accommodation block & a cafe. We will then build an Arts & Skills Centre.  As well as helping the community, this project will provide us with a hub for our charity’s various activities. The children will have an after-school study space, and a computer centre.

Our Adult Learning Groups will no longer have to meet under a tree! Our Self Help Women’s Micro-finance Groups will have a home and our school leaver students will be able to learn skills and crafts for getting them employment, which is the goal of our Educational Programme.

Children of Uganda (UK) Newsletter Autumn 2018

Community Centre Picture
Community Centre Picture – Click to Enlarge


Medical Centre Site Plan - Click to Enlarge
Medical Centre Site Plan – Click to Enlarge

Ahero Early Childhood Development Centre- AIDS Orphan

The Ahero Project is helping a minimum of 75 HIV/AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC’s) from poor households, aged between 2-5 years per year to receive structured, age appropriate care, including a nutrition programme where the children will be provided with food every day, which aids with the learning process.

The Early Childhood Development Centre based in Kisumu County, Kenya provides pre-primary level education to 79 HIV/AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) aged between 2-5 years from the Ahero Ward.  It now has 3 operational classrooms which are fully equipped with educational toys and the children attending get 2 wholesome meals a day. In the next 6 months AIDS Orphan will be building a further two classrooms. By May 2019, after more enrollment, the school will be catering for 120 children.

Through this support the children will be better placed to enter government primary school education on an equal footing, thus improving the longer term prospects of remaining in the education system and providing greater life choices into adulthood.


‘Aids Orphan is delighted to have the support of MAD to help us realise our dream of creating a new Early Childhood Development Centre in a place called Ahero in Kenya. We are working with some of the poorest and marginalised children who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.’

Ian Govendir CEO and Founder 2018


Early childhood development in Kisumu, Kenya
Phyllis is the Mother of Ben
Phyllis, 3-year-old son Ben and his sister are all HIV+ they obtain all their medications from the government hospital every two months. According to his mother, Ben’s life has changed since he started attending the ECD and is a beneficiary of the feeding programme. He is being educated and is able to speak well and identify various body parts and letters. Ben acquired his uniform from one of the mentors from his mother’s hospital support group,  his included the uniform, socks and shoes but no sweater. Phyllis has been told a sweater costs 600/- (£5 approx.), which is very challenging for her to save. Phyllis has a total of five children, in addition to, caring for her husband’s first children as a result of their mother dying of cervical cancer in 2008. These children attend the local primary and secondary school. Her second husband died of AIDS as a result from stopping his medication.

Phyllis finds caring for so many children highly demanding, especially, with trying to obtain enough food to feed the whole family. Her income is sourced from working on local rice farms, selling firewood and making charcoal. In addition, her challenges stem from the discrimination she encounters everyday due to her HIV status, as there remains a high level of stigma within the village. Ben, although taking medication, still suffers from severe headaches, convulsions and high fevers. After losing his father, Ben, at only 3 years is aware about the benefits of the medication, that he continues to remind his mother to take his and her medications every night. Ben’s mother was in disbelief when the Early Childhood Development center started and is overjoyed with the support it offers the children. She believes it allows the children to strive to succeed.
Ben is fascinated with aeroplanes and aspires to be a pilot when he is older.


Happy children means happy mothers
Angelina is a 30-year-old mother, married at 15, she has seven children aged between 16 and 15 months. Her husband was killed, leaving her solely responsible over the whole family. Angelina and her 3-year-old daughter, Daisy, are both HIV+ Daisy attends the ECD and is doing extremely well. With the responsibility of raising 7 children, which can be economically draining, Angelina is relieved that Daisy is being taken care of and supported educationally.


Peter & Adam
Brothers Peter (9) and Adam (7) were found in the care of their sickly grandfather after their mother died of AIDS and their father was sent to prison. They were living in abject poverty, both of them malnourished and crawling with lice. The boys had never been to school and only spoke their mother tongue (Meru) so they were initially admitted to the reception class. They have progressed in leaps and bounds! They’re receiving medical treatment, eating three decent meals a day and their health is improving dramatically. With AiDS Orphan’s help, they now both attend school and are properly cared for at our Neema Rescue House.


Lulu (14) was born in the Kibera slum and orphaned at just 6 years old. Due to desperate poverty, she was unable to access HIV medication and continually suffered from Bronchitis, Pneumonia, and TB. Sadly she developed deafness early in life after having contracted meningitis, yet another challenge for this little girl.
With AiDS Orphan’s support, Lulu now lives happily with the other children at Neema Rescue House. We support her school fees, food, access to medication and help with the extra challenges her disability brings about. Lulu excels academically. Not only is she top of her class, she also sits in the top 5% of academic achievers for the whole of Kenya!


Grandmother cares for 7 grandchildren due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Mary who had succumbed to the ravages of HIV/AIDS, is a grandmother of 7 children who she is raising as her own. She has a small holding and a house in the village of Ahero. One of her grandchildren shown below is registered at the newly established ECD. I met Mary on my initial visit to the project 2 years ago and was impressed with how she was coping and providing for all of the children. While she tries her best, it is a real challenge for her to feed the hungry mouths and she is really only a substance farmer. The CBO (Community based organisation) has helped her establish her crops and has installed a water harvesting system which helps her water her crops when the rainy season stops.

Kisumu county is a region where there is either severe drought or flooding. At this particular moment in time the region is beleaguered by flooding and because of this many, crops are ruined.
When the ECD started earlier this year, Jimmy, her 4-year-old grandson who is also HIV + came to the school and was suffering from a distended stomach which is a sign of severe malnutrition.
He was not very attentive at first but with a bit of love and attention he was given 2 meals a day and has been encouraged to interact with other children and is now learning to play with toys and be more vocal.
As a result of the feeding programme at the ECD, Jimmy is no longer malnourished and his life transformed through the rare opportunity of learning at this early age.


Helderberg Street People’s Centre

The Helderberg Street People’s Centre was established in 2001 when Ian Greer and Clive Ferreira moved to Somerset West on the Western Cape in South Africa. They were so moved by the plight of the poor in the town that they were motivated to found the Helderberg Street People Centre (HSPC), commonly known as the “Soup Kitchen”. The initiative brought together Christian denominations to alleviate the hardships faced by the poor and destitute by providing food, clothing, medical and other practical help.

A number of church congregations supplied volunteers and some funding to get the project off the ground, and they spent a great deal of time and energy in procuring donations of food from generous businesses and individuals.

HSPC has grown and is now feeding more than 1000 people every day, from the Soup Kitchen itself and its various satellites. Food, blankets, shoes and clothes are collected continuously and given to the most vulnerable. Close to the hearts of Ian and Clive was also the need for training and education, and their example has inspired the community to support the project they started.

As a community-based (CBO), non-profit organisation (NPO), HSPC work to assist the homeless with obtaining the correct documentation for their social grant applications and they also assist with helping people find gainful employment. In addition, they run programmes at various sites throughout the region.

Saturday Clubs and Residential Camps – Sentebale

Sentebale is a charity founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho. It helps the most vulnerable children in Lesotho get the support they need to lead healthy and productive lives.

Sentebale works with local grassroots organisations to help these children – the victims of extreme poverty and Lesotho’s HIV/AIDS epidemic. Together, they are making a big difference to these children’s lives by improving their access to quality healthcare and education.

Make a Difference Foundation Grant – Projects Supported:

Monthly Clubs address the psychological impact of HIV by giving young people a safe environment to work though the challenges of being HIV-positive together, encouraging them to live healthy, productive lives, and nurturing their inner confidence. We deliver over 100 clubs across Lesotho and Botswana.

Residential Camps
give those children who struggle to cope with their HIV status intensive support in a fun, friendly and safe environment. At camp children take part in sport, games and activity sessions to learn how to take their antiretroviral medication correctly and prevent onward infection. They leave camp with increased confidence and knowledge about HIV, and the ability to take care of their future health.

Caregiver Days:
In Lesotho and Botswana live an estimated 273,000 orphans that have lost their parents as a result of AIDS. These children are often in the care of surviving relatives, such as a grandparent or aunt. Sentebale’s ‘Caregiver Days’ are designed to teach them about HIV (whilst dispelling myths and breaking down stigma), so they know what steps they need to take to best support the child in their care.

Sentebale focuses on three core areas:

  1. Children living with HIV
  2. Access to Education
  3. Care for vulnerable children

Lesotho has the second highest prevalence rate of HIV in the world, with 38,000 children under 14 living with HIV, which remains the number one cause of deaths in 10-19 year olds in Africa. Stigma and discrimination are the biggest barrier to children and young people living with HIV to accessing the correct care. Many of these children are particularly vulnerable as they are isolated and rejected due to their status, and receive little support from their families and communities. Often one or more of their parents has died of AIDS.

Sentebale’s Network Clubs and Camps Programme is comprised of week-long residential camps at the ’Mamohato Children’s Centre, and monthly network clubs at local healthcare clinics across Lesotho, to give children living with HIV

the knowledge and the tools that they need to live physically and emotionally healthy lives. The Programme aims to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS through education and fostering child-to-child communication.

Neema Rescue Centre – AIDS Orphan

AIDS Orphan UK Trust is a UK based international charity that aims to prevent and relieve the suffering, distress and sickness of children who have been orphaned, infected or otherwise affected by HIV/AIDS across Africa.

We believe that children have a basic human right to life and this means access to ARV’s, medical care and attention if they are HIV+ or suffering from AIDS. We also believe that HIV+ children have the right to education with the goal of lifting them out of the cycle of poverty.

Neema Rescue Centre, which MAD is supporting:

Kibera is the largest slum in Kenya and is home to 1 million people. It is estimated that 100,000 children living there are orphaned, in many cases by AIDS/HIV.

The Neema Rescue Centre, which is part of Little Rock School, provides a home for 29 children who have been orphaned by AIDS/HIV through the provision of food, clean water and adherence to anti retroviral medication. It seeks to support the children in establishing a permanent home, either with extended family or into a boarding school.

By providing a home to these very vulnerable children the Centre is supporting these children at a time of potential crisis in their lives and preventing a decline into extreme poverty and potentially death.

“Thanks to the Make a Difference Trust we are directly supporting children who have been orphaned by AIDS/HIV by funding the running costs of a rescue home for 29 of these children. As well as providing a stable home environment within one of the largest slums in the world (Kibera in Kenya) the children will also have access to the school, the feeding programme and the anti-retroviral drugs needed to keep them healthy.”

Kate  Akhtar – Trusts and Foundations, Aids Orphan UK Trust

Some facts about Kibera include:

Kibera is one of the most densely populated places on the planet

Life expectancy in Kibera is 30 years of age, compared to 50 years of age in the remainder of Kenya, compared to 67.2 years of age in the world.[United Nations: Life Expectancy, 2005 to 2010]

One out of five children do not live to see their 5th birthdays.

75% of the people in the slum are under the age of 18

There is no clean, running water in Kibera shacks. The people purchase water from private vendors, paying two to ten times what is paid by a Nairobi resident outside the slum.

Kibera’s 1 million residents share 600 toilets; a single toilet serves 1,300 people.

Violence is rampant in Kibera: women are routinely beaten, raped, or sold into prostitution; men and women are denied police protection, medical care, education, economic or political power.

66% of girls in Kibera routinely trade sex for food by the age of 16, and many begin at age 6; young women in Kibera contact HIV at a rate 5 times that of their male counterparts.

Only 41 percent of boys and 32 percent of girls know that condoms are effective in preventing HIV transmission; and only 8% of girls in Kibera have the chance to go to school.

Kibera’s children sniff a glue-like hallucinogenic solvent to reduce hunger pangs.

Ubuntu Pathways

Thank you for The Make A Difference Trust’s three year grant to Ubuntu Pathways (formerly Ubuntu Education Fund) towards the Ubuntu After-School and Performing Arts Project. Over the past 18 years, Ubuntu has grown into a vital community institution that transforms the lives of South Africa’s most vulnerable children. Your generous support will ensure the continuation of our life-changing work, placing families on a pathway out of poverty.

Children growing up in Port Elizabeth’s townships face Odds that are stacked against them. However, at Ubuntu, we believe that a child’s life should not be left to chance. Our innovative development approach provides disadvantaged children with what all children need to thrive – everything. In this way, a girl without financial resources wins a scholarship, studies maths at university abroad, and returns to teach undergraduates in South Africa. Students form a robotics team to build award-winning technology; an unemployed young man trains to become a barista and aspires to open his own coffee shop.

After nearly two decades of working within our community, we have learnt that there is nothing more sustainable than investing in a child every day of her life. We recently launched a bold Strategic plan that will generate lasting change in Port Elizabeth – Vision 2020. Our five-year strategy will enhance our “cradle-to-career” programming, amplify the Ubuntu Model, and ensure long-term impact. This ambitious strategy will catalyse a self-sustaining cycle of development that empowers families to break complex patterns of poverty and Inequality. As we share our model, Ubuntu will serve as the global standard for community transformation in impoverished areas around the world.

The Ubuntu Centre, now part of the fabric of Zwide Township, hums With activity from the rooftop

garden to the theatre. Keyboards click in the computer room; delicious smells waft from the kitchen; a student runs excitedly into her classroom; fathers walk out of the clinic holding life-saving medicine.

Our mission is rooted in ubuntu a South African ethos that speaks to our common humanity – we are all connected to each other, and our Interactions define us. Thank you for believing in our vision and ensuring that Ubuntu’s children grow up with opportunities that every child deserves.

Beth Honig , Director, Friends of Ubuntu Education Fund, UK