With the new year came a shift in organizations for me. I've spent the past month and a half working with the Mmametlhake Family Care Centre. The shift was finalized this week when Peace Corps came to have a final meeting with Tirisano Victim Empowerment Centre (my old organization) and officially close that placement.
The Mmametlhake Family Care Centre is a strong and stable organization that I had worked with on occasion throughout the first nine months in the village. They currently run a home-based care in Mmametlhake and the surrounding villages and put on HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns at area schools. In Mmametlhake, they provide much needed computer services, have a small library and often have food and clothing donations available. Established in 2002 by a local pastor who saw a need to care for those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, the aim of Family Care is to provide for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in whatever way they can by whatever means they can.
My first project that I am working on is developing a training program and training manual for the home-based care workers. Many of the workers have already been trained through the government, but Family Care would like to have something that is more tailored to the centre. It's a big endeavor and has me back doing what I love--program development. I’m already having fun doing research and just generally being a nerd.
Although it has been hard to leave Tirisano and to feel as though I am disappointing my coworkers there, I am happy about the transition and feel that it is the best move for me. I am now getting the opportunity to work directly with HIV/AIDS work, which is a major reason that I accepted this assignment in the first place. Hopefully, I will still on occasion be able to assist Tirisano, and I intend on maintaining the relationships that I formed there.
The American funders of my new organization have an in-process website at handinhandinafrica.org. You can go there to find out a little bit more about Family Care. The section on Family Care is on the "Projects" page and is still being updated. You can also find several articles about the centre if you do a Google search.