Monday 30 November 2020
I love the drive down to Qwa-Qwa, the way the mountains of the berg emerge in a glowing light, a wide and far expanse of land to all sides. I always experience a fantastic sense of freedom as I wind down the N3 towards the Free State, leaving Johannesburg far behind.
The Thabo Mafutsanyane district certainly it is no stranger town to Save the Children South Africa and by now, we know our brand and logo are synonymous with community engagement and health.
We have been working in this district since 2016, together with GSK, implementing “Sireletsa Bana”, which means Save the Children in Setswana. The project has delivered critical health services and education to communities in Free State and Limpopo, in order to strengthen systems and eliminate deaths of children under five, by preventable causes.
Our trip to Qwa-Qwa now is to bring together, one final time, all partners in health on the ground, to deliver health services to parents, caregivers, children and community members. Hosted by Malebo Edu-Care Centre in Makwane, the Child Health Awareness Day (CHAD) attracted 369 community members to receive services, information and engage with local leadership. During the event, 70 children immunized/received deworming/vitamin A supplementation; women had access to family planning consultations, 48 adults were provided with HIV testing, 168 children received oral hygiene services, the Department of Agriculture provided seeds to 323 community members; and the National Development Agency had consultations with approximately 39 ECCD Supervisors from the district.
“We want to see children in all of our Early Childhood Development centres healthy. We will remember Save the Children for the work that they’ve done in our province and GSK for enabling Save the Children to do this by providing funding,” says Me Mohaleroe, Director of Department of Social Development, Thabo Mafutstanyane District.
The global partnership that Save the Children and GSK share is an award winning one. At this event, we reached 369 community members, but in four years in Free State alone, we have achieved great strides in partnership. We have reached 462 women through breastfeeding support groups, hosted 18 Child Health Awareness Days to reach 2172 caregivers and 469 children, we have trained ECCD practitioners formally and informally and have supplied multiple community health centres with equipment to carry out their services.
“GSK’s company vision is to enable people to do more feel better and live longer. This is an ambitious goal, and something we cannot do alone. Our partnership here in South Africa with Save the Children, the local community and the government is a great example of what we can achieve when we work together” says Nobantu Zaca, Head of Transformation at GSK.
Save the Children continues to work with various stakeholders in a bid to reach every last child.
By Dianne VanDerTuin, Partnership Development Manager at Save the Children South Africa
Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In South Africa and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.
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