eMasoyi Community Development Foundation (previously Masoyi Home Based Care Project) began as an urgent measure to respond to the effects of HIV/AIDS in 1997. There was a lack of basic knowledge of the pandemic, and this resulted in many untimely deaths, which in turn led to an increase in orphaned and vulnerable children in our community.
Dr. Hardman, a South Africa medical doctor who was working in all the clinics in the Masoyi community, saw that each time she referred patients to the hospital, there was no one to follow up these patients, and many were dying from ignorance of how to treat the disease, and from traditional beliefs. Dr. Hardman contacted all the leaders in the community, from Church leaders to traditional leaders, with the result that a group of women decided to form a care group, Masoyi HBCP, of which Florence Mbokazi was a member.
This group grew (and led to the formation of ACTS clinic, which treats people living with HIV/AIDS), and was initially led by Dr. Hardman. Later, it led to the formation of Hand at Work, headed by George Snyman. Florence Mbokazi continued to lead Masoyi Home Based Care.
Starting with basic patient care, further needs caused by the pandemic were identified, resulting in eMasoyi developing further programs such as:
Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC).
There were children who had stopped going to school because they were caring for their sick parents, or their siblings because their parents were too sick or had passed away and left babies. Some of the children would go without food because the bread winners were unable to provide food. Schools were chasing children for not paying school fees and other requirements for school. Some relatives would even abandon babies of infected parents, especially if those babies were also infected.
eMasoyi found itself not only as a link between the affected children and the schools, but also as a replacement for parental care for the babies. eMasoyi developed the following programs:
- Food parcels for the sick, and for vulnerable children.
- Food gardens to help people get fresh vegetables for nutrition. We also encourage each family to have a small garden in their yard.
- Working on legal documents for children.
- Giving basic help to sick people.
- Early child development, because we wanted to help the children who were affected at an early stage.
- Support group for grannies, to encourage and educate them.
- Transport of the sick to health centers (in a wheelbarrow before we had a vehicle).
Care Centers: Lula and Khayalethu 2 (K2)
These places offer OVC hot meals on a daily basis; after school teaching; help with homework, as well as learning various life skills; clothes washing; and uniforms for children coming from child-headed homes.
A Youth Skills Development Center (K3)
eMasoyi helps youths who have failed to complete their education for various reasons so that they can still be self-sufficient in income generation. eMasoyi has developed training in Computing; Sewing; Beading; Carpentry; Home Economics (cookery).
eMasoyi tries to help the young people from primary and secondary schools with workshops to help them discover their potential through changing behavior, which will reduce the HIV infection rate. The program offers one-to-one help to individual children, to give them hope in the hardships of life, and to equip them to make better choices in life.
eMasoyi currently has 0ver 90 volunteers caring for the sick and OVC, encouraged by visitors from outside the area. We reach over 1100 OVC, and care for more than 1,000 patients.
eMasoyi was founded on Christian principles, so twice a week we have a pray meeting and worship service.
eMasoyi was recognized as a model for home-based care that could be replicated in other parts of Africa, resulting in the emergence of Hands at Work, which has been doing just that. In 2010, eMasoyi became independent of Hands at Work (maintaining a warm relationship), to pursue its broader vision.
Some local and overseas churches continue to support eMasoyi in its work.