Introduction to South Africa
South Africa hosts a variety of wonderful landmarks, geographical scenery, fossils and more, ranging from Table Mountain, Cape Floral Kingdom, Vredefort Dome to Karoo. Rich in mining, minerals and diamonds, Africa’s southernmost country hosts a population of 60 million.
South Africa has one of the biggest and most developed economies in Africa, yet deep socio-economic inequalities remain from the abolished apartheid system. With 3.7 million orphans across South Africa, the largest HIV epidemic and more than half the population living below the national poverty line, South Africa faces a series of monumental challenges.
Over seven million people in South Africa are living with HIV/AIDS and with 270,000 new infections a year, South Africa has the largest concentration of HIV worldwide. Despite a drop in transmission rates, HIV/AIDS continues to remain the single leading cause of death across South Africa.
The high prevalence of this disease has multiple complex effects on society, including decreased earning power and rising numbers of child orphans. For those affected by the disease, impoverished living conditions place an even greater burden on their health. The sicker the individuals, the less likely income can be generated to support themselves and their families.
Why do the people of South Africa need your support?
South Africa has the largest HIV/AIDS epidemic worldwide, with 7.7 million people currently living with HIV (UNAIDS, 2020)
11 million South Africans live on less than $1.90 a day (HDR, 2020)
At least 2.8 million children are orphans after losing one or both parents (South African Child Gauge Survey, 2018)
With a record high unemployment rate of 32.8% (Statistics South Africa, 2020), over 23% of households are experiencing hunger (Ipsos, 2021)
Islamic Relief in South Africa
Islamic Relief opened its office in South Africa in 2003 to implement education and health programs to alleviate suffering caused by poverty and help children affected by HIV/AIDS. With a main office in Cape Town and operations running in Western Cape, Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal, we focus on improving the livelihoods of vulnerable South Africans.
We introduced Positive Living, a project aimed at preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS and offering care and support for people impacted by the virus. Through the project, we encouraged HIV testing and treatment while providing moral support.
In 2014, the Islamic Relief family officially pledged USD $10 million to fund the oncology unit of the ground-breaking Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg. Later in 2016, we saw the fruition of our work with the opening of the Oncology Centre of Excellence.
Currently, our team in South Africa is responding to the aftermath of the flooding in KwaZulu Natal and rehabilitating the Thandokwethu school to improve the quality of education for enrolled students. In response to the flood, we are distributing mattresses, blankets, kitchen sets, hygiene kits, and water bottles, as well as rehabilitating damaged homes and conducting health and hygiene awareness sessions.
To improve the educational attainment of students in the Dududu region, our Education Cannot Wait project is providing teachers with training, creating a playground for children, rehabilitating the school, drilling a borehole, installing 2 water tanks, and conducting WASH promotion workshops.