Volunteers, both local and international have always played an instrumental role in the work of HACT, helping us to not only deliver our life-saving services, but to also create much needed awareness around the world about the devastating impact that HIV/AIDS continues to have on individuals and families here in South Africa.
It was therefore with much excitement and that the HACT team welcomed a diaconal volunteer group from De Bilt in The Netherlands to our centre in late April 2017. Working in partnership with Zulu Aid, HACT’s longstanding Dutch funding partner, the volunteers spent several months raising funds to pay for their trip as well as a generous donation towards the centre’s work here in the Valley of 1000 Hills.
Over the course of their week and a half visit, the volunteers threw themselves into several projects around the HACT centre including their main project which involved a revamp of the centre’s onsite Nursery. Thanks to their hard work and generous support we now have new signage for our Nursery as well as two magnificent giraffe ready to greet all our visitors and customers - which have already become Hillcrest’s newest landmark along the busy Old Main Road! On the South African Heritage holiday the group treated some of the respite patients to a trip and lunch at the Durban beachfront. The surf and sun uplifted many hearts, and much laughter and conversation was had as everyone mingled and shared the holiday together. Inspired by our Woza Moya Upcycled Art Centre, the volunteers also got their hands dirty creating two beautiful new features in our Nursery using old, second hand tins and shoes. Other projects undertaken by the volunteers included giving our Respite Unit’s memory wall a much needed clean, helping with patient care in our Respite Unit itself and making a stunning mosaic of the HACT logo that will soon be erected at the front of our centre’s Admin building. Last but not least, the dedicated group got up at 5am on the day of the Gogolympics to help members of our Gogo Support Groups programme team to make 2000 sandwiches for our participating grannies before heading over to the games themselves to cheer on the grannies and participate in a few of the games on the day!
Suffice to say, the collective impact of this particular volunteer group’s hard work and generosity will continue to be felt here at HACT for many years to come. On behalf of all our beneficiaries, we would like to thank the volunteers for their enthusiasm and support, they will be sorely missed!