Our history began in 1990, when HACT was founded as a ministry of the Hillcrest Methodist Church, as a response to the then Minister’s conviction that the church needed to play their part in the emerging HIV pandemic. Here is a timeline of key events in our history:
- Rev Neil Oosthuizen of Hillcrest Methodist Church went to a presentation about HIV/AIDS and felt that it was something the Church should get involved in – an opportunity to care
- December: Rev Dr Daryl Hackland officially opened HACT
- Three Volunteers manned a pozzi hut that leaked excessively
- Moved to offices in Hillcrest (because of stigma)
- Moved to a container on Anglican Methodist church property
- Involvement with basketball, soccer, cycling and gospel choir competition all in an effort to educate the community about HIV/AIDS
- For the first five years all work was done by volunteers, many of whom came and went although all played a role in establishing HACT.
- First official funding from Departmennt of Health (DOH)
- 2 counsellors employed and Centre opened at Molweni Methodist Church
- Care program started with home visits by volunteer nurses
- In an effort to attract community to the Molweni Centre, an income generation project started (posters put all over Molweni – 2 people arrived; 1 was blind – the stigma was too intense)
- Started making beaded aids ribbons
- Donation of first vehicle: a second hand 4X4 from Daimler Chrysler
- First group of 20 home based carers trained
- Income generation project grew to 30 beaders but had no orders and became known as Woza Moya
- Second group of HBC’s trained in Embo
- Moved onto the new property of the Hillcrest Methodist Church but still also operated on Anglican property as well
- Search for a new home as project had out grown the Church
- Third group of HBC’s trained in Embo
- Two nurses appointed to monitor and train HBC’s
- First Little Traveller created by Woza Moya.
- Appointed an income generation manager and Woza Moya started to grow and become more viable
- Horticulturist appointed and horticulture project commenced
- Moved to 26 Old Main Road, Hillcrest, where it remains today. Rented for 1 year then purchased property for R1,6 million
- Woza Moya became self sustaining!
- February: Started respite unit in a rented ward of Hillcrest government Hospital (8 beds)
- November: Granny Groups project started with 2 granny support groups
- December: Started building Respite Unit on HACT Property (26 Old Main Road, Hillcrest.)
- October: Respite Unit moved onto property of 26 Old Main Road, with a 24 beds
- Dreams for Africa Chair, a Woza Moya project, won Most Beautiful Object at the Design Indaba
- March: First Gogolympics held at the Kwa Nyuswa Sports Ground, with 1000 grannies participating
- August: started a home based care programme focused on orphaned and vulnerable children (150 children and 5 care-givers)
- December: HACT was in the final four organisations for the Mayoral Excellence Awards in the Community Development Section
- April: the Education Programme and the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children's Progamme came together to launch the new pilot Children's Programme
- Full-time staff member numbers up to 65
- July: HACT was awarded the Dira Sengwe Leadership in AIDS Award, for our outstanding contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS in our region. The award was granted at the opening ceremony of the South African AIDS Conference, held at the ICC in Durban.
- HACT presented at the South African AIDS Conference, with a topic A Holistic Repsonse to the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in the Valley of 1000 Hills region of KwaZulu Natal.
- HACT exited out of the long-running feeding scheme that had been feeding 40 families every week for many years, after a strategic decision to focus on projects that produce long-term development and empowerment and to move away from 'hand out' projects.
- Woza Moya opened two new shops - one at Embo Craft in Botha's Hill and one in Kloof, in addition to expanding the flagship shop on HACT's property in Hillcrest. Woza Moya is now turning over R5 million annually and creating income for over 350 crafters.
- March: HACT exited out of the Home Based Care Programme when funding from USAID/NACOSA came to an end. In its place a discharge follow-up programme was implemented out of the respite unit, to ensure that discharged patients continue to adhere to medication and improve in health and wellbeing.
- The Children's Programme morphed into a broader Prevention Programme, targeting over 1000 orphaned and vulnerable children and also young adults with a dynamic suite of HIV-prevention interventions.
- The Grannies Support Group Project continued to expand and now engages over 50 support groups with roughly 2000 grandmothers.
- In partnership with Stephen Lewis Foundation, HACT hosted a grandmothers conference bringing together grandmothers from across South Africa and abroad, culminating in a powerful advocacy march during which the grannies bought their concerns and requests to the government on the eve of the International AIDS Conference.
- July: HACT was selected as an exemplary NGO in the HIV/AIDS space, and many visitors from the International AIDS Conference came to HACT for a tour during their time in Durban for the conference.
- CEO, Olivia Myeza, stepped down after over five years at the helm of HACT to move home to Australia. New CEO, Candace Davidson took over leadership in March
- HACT now employs 130 paid staff members, including full-time part-time, stipended and casual