Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Mpilonhle Continues to Expand Services- 8 April 08

The Mpilonhle Mobile Health and Computer Program continues to expand its services to schools in greatest need of assistance. With support from the Oprah’s Angel Network, and the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Program, in the first six months of operations at four High Schools in the Umkhanyakude District, Mpilonhle provided 90-minute intensive health education sessions, and 90 minute computer education sessions, to more than 4,000 learners. One-hour individual health education sessions were provided to 1100 students, and 645 students received voluntary HIV testing.
Learners and staff at the schools Mpilonhle serve and community members have responded with remarkable enthusiasm to the program. According to Nokwanda, a 12th grade student at Madwaleni High School, “Mpilonhle has opened a new page in my life. I had no idea how to manage myself. When I decided to get tested I was scared that I may be positive, but after getting counseling I was not nervous because HIV is like any other disease”.

Inkosi BN Mdletshe, Acting Chairperson, House of Traditional Leaders, Umkhanyakude District, said that “The services and program that Mpilonhle is providing is something we desperately need in the Umkhanyakude area and Mpilonhle is to be strongly commended for initiating and carrying out these activities. That is why the Umkhanyakude House of Traditional Leaders, which is made up of all Amakhosi in the Umkhanyakude Area, passed a unanimous resolution supporting Mpilonhle and encouraging Mpilonhle to seek more funding and expand to provide services in as many schools as possible in the Umkhanyakude District”.
With additional funding from PEFPAR, the United States President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief, Mpilonhle will be expanding to an additional 7 schools in the Umkhanyakude District in the coming months, providing services to an additional 6,000 learners.

The Mpilonhle Mobile Unit being

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