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Diakonia AIDS Ministry (DAM) was originally established in 2001 as a community based organisation affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa Central Diocese (ELCSA). ELCSA Central Diocese community members identified the need and chose to respond to the spread and increasing social issues associated with HIV / AIDS by organising DAM as a social ministry.
DAM registered with the South African Department of Social Development in 2003 as a non-profit organisation. The DAM offices are located in Central Western Jabavu, Soweto. However, DAM's area of operation includes the entire Central Diocese in Gauteng, North West, and Mpumalanga Provinces. The scope of operations and capacity of the organisation have increased over time.
DAM currently offers essential services to the community through staff and volunteers, including trained home based caregivers, case management for orphans and vulnerable children, support group meetings, income generation projects, and HIV/AIDS education and training for community members, among other projects and programmes. DAM staff and volunteers endeavour to meet the needs of individuals of all ages who are infected or affected by HIV / AIDS.
DAM’s vision is to be a leading faith based organisation in people centred health and development service. Our mission is to provide mechanisms that address socio-economic factors and engage strategic partners to address HIV / AIDS, related social issues, and empowerment of individuals and the community in Southern Africa and the church.
DAM is a part of a larger network of organisations working with HIV / AIDS issues locally and internationally. DAM is locally supported by various faith based, community, and government partners; and internationally support by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and congregations of the German Lutheran Church. The South Africa Department of Health and Social Development currently supports the Education and Training Department at DAM, which enables us to reach many members of the community.
DAM makes efforts to partner with various organisations, however continues to have the frustration of knowing a greater impact could be made with additional resources. Despite the lack of resources DAM has made significant progress over the years. As the economy dropped DAM’s work and the individuals who were in need of help increased. Funding has been an issue for many social welfare organisations during this time, DAM included. Initially food parcels were given to support group participants. However, it became a concern that DAM was part of creating programme dependency in the population. This prompted a client driven shift in focus and DAM now uses income generation projects so individuals may learn a valuable skill while continuing to receive support at DAM. Many of the people working in DAM are volunteers. Our strong reliance on volunteers demonstrates the hard work of people who truly care for the community. DAM would not be successful without its volunteers.
DAM has five departments:
- Education and Training Department: Education and Training workers facilitate educational events in a variety of settings in order to reach different groups of people. Audio and visual presentations are used to relay information regarding HIV / AIDS and how this disease is affecting our communities. Educational events include presentations to ELCSA and other church congregations, on-the-road campaigns, music festivals, presentations at youth events, and training individuals in the community so they may spread this important message to their peers, families, and communities. Education and Training is partially supported by the South Africa Department of Health.
- Orphans and Vulnerable Children Department: OVC workers provide case management to children and their families in the community. Many children are being raised by guardians, which can present unique stress and frustrations. OVC workers complete regular home visits and are available to families to discuss their concerns and strategies to work with the children. Food parcels and special donations are used to help provide basic needs and school supplies for the children. The children will attend a week long camp for the June school holiday for breakfast and lunch, sports, crafts, singing, and empowerment focused educational presentations. OVC is not currently individually supported and draws from the main fund for programmes for the children.
- Home Based Care Department: HBC provides skilled caregivers who care for home bound patients. Caregivers complete consistent home visits and care for their patients, and help support the family during this difficult time. HBC is not currently individually supported and draws from the main fund for programmes and medical supplies.
- Support Group Department: Support groups for individuals infected and affected by HIV / AIDS are held weekly. Income generation projects are a portion of the support group activities. Individuals learn skills for income generation and pursue sustainable income rather than dependency on an organisation. Support group builds a supportive community for the emotional and spiritual wellbeing of the participants. DAM acts as housing and a marketing conduit for beadwork, sewing, gardening, chickens, recycling, and catering income generation projects. Support Group is not currently individually supported and draws from the main fund for programmes. Income generation projects are self-sustaining and provide income to the participants.
- Communications Department: The communication department gathers information from throughout the Central Diocese on our work and progress. The quarterly newsletter Lobone is produced to inform our local and international partners of our activities, share the news of our work with congregations throughout the Diocese, and is sold for sustainable development. Communications is developing DAM’s new web page, which will launch in June 2011. Communications is not currently individually supported and draws from the main fund. The newsletter is sold to support sustainability.
DAM’s partners include:
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA) Central Diocese
- Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA)
- South African Government - Department of Health and Social Development
- South African Aids Consortium
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
- Communities Building Credible Ownership (CBCO) South Africa
- Evangelical Lutheran Mission (ELM) Germany
- Berlin Mission (BMW) Germany
Operates in: Soweto, Gauteng
Established in: 2001
Non-Profit Organisation Number: 025-090
Public Benefit Organisation Number:
Section 21 Company Number:
Contact person: Rev. S Selby Mugivhi
Phone: 011 932 3966
Fax: 086 562 9496
Physical address: 833 Diokane Street, Central Western Jabavu, Soweto
Postal address: P O Box 5360, Horizon, 1730
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