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My name is Helen Moza Mwamba; I’ m a refugee from Congo living in South Africa. I have complied with all the requirements for the completion of the HONOURS BACHELOR OF ART (SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR STUDIES IN HIV/AIDS) at UNISA as HIV/AIDS manager and researcher in the academic year 2013.
HIV is the biggest social and economic threat South Africa faces. National statistics show that in South Africa alone, over 1,500 individuals are infected by the HIV virus every day – over half a million new infections a year. Nine out of ten do not know that they are infected.
South Africa is further on the forefront of biomedical research to prevent HIV infection and has gained worldwide recognition for its research on male circumcision, microbicides and an HIV vaccine. What we do lack is a more concentrated effort to break down stigma in the country. Too many people are still dying because they are too afraid to access HIV counselling, testing and treatment. HIV is likely to be with us for a very long time, but how far it spread and how much damage it does is entirely up to us. The following are problems face by refugees.
Language barriers between counselors and clients can cause severe difficulties, especially in South Africa with its 11 official languages. Few refugees are proficient in English or any of the other official languages spoken in South Africa. Unfortunately there are not always trained counselors available to address clients in their own languages. Counselors often have no choice bur to use translators or interpreters to rephrase what they have said in way that is understandable to the client, this is far from ideal. And counselors should be aware of the problems of using the services of a third person in the couselling process. Confidentiality may be violated; and the relationship between the counsellor and the client may be jeopardised in favour of a relationship between the translator and the client
The challenge of counsellor is not only to assist the person living with HIV but also to overcome the historical as well as present- day discrimination against HIV/AIDS. The person may be very well educated and may know almost all the scientific facts about HIV/AIDS, perhaps even more the counsellor does. However, the counsellor cannot assume that the individual has come to terms with being infected with HIV. The client may still have to learn how to cope with the myths, the discriminatory thinking, the taboos, or the deep-seated fears of sharing his or her status with family members. A professor of medicine is just as likely, if not more so, toharbour fears and concerns about HIV/AIDS as a semi-literate mother from a rural village in Africa.
The right of a refugee
Legislation in South Africa is backed up by the constitution, which pledge to provide for “all whom live in the country, regardless of citizenship, nationality or country of birth”. The refugees Act of 1998 guarantees freedom of movement and provides for the right to work and to access public health care and education services. All marginalised groups living with HIV/AIDS including refugees should enjoy standards of care and treatment equal to those of the general population. All marginalised groups living with HIV and aids should have the same access as that of the general population to appropriate education, information and preventive measures
Many people in South Africa are only able to access sub-par health services, while many others are unable to access any health services at all. But all people living with HIV/AIDS must be given an equal opportunity to experience a healthy and fulfilling life. Better care must be provided and expanded until everyone who is living with HIV/AIDS has access to adequate prevention, treatment and support services. We will only succeed in quelling HIV/AIDS in South Africa if we work together towards that goal.
It is with gratitude to Aids Law Projec for sustaining the worthwhile work that has helped so many individuals with special needs. My energy for doing this work is strong – I am filled with BIG ideas for enhancing my HIV/AIDS programs and constantly looking for my “next step” to enrich the lives of people with special needs.
I’ m thinking BIG as I look toward Aids Law’s future. Your generosity has brought us such a great distance since your existence – will you help my project serve those with special needs who will gain so much from this programmes? We are strong because of your support – we are looking to the future with BIG dreams for our riders – your help plays a BIG part in our ability to make a difference in their lives.
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looking for administrative position in your company have qualification in diploma in business administration and more than two years experience
Am pleases and inspired with what the organisation is doing,am a Registered Nurse and a lawyer awaiting admission to the bar having completed my KSL and my pupillage too last year,looking forward to volunteer with you
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