Building stronger organizational systems in South Africa
With support from JSI and the PEPFAR New Partners Initiative (NPI), Sophumelela's desire to expand and better serve its clients soon became a reality. After becoming an NPI grantee in 2008, the clinic added HIV counseling and testing and home-based care to its list of services. A building purchased with Sophumelela's own resources was renovated as a palliative care facility to care for its sickest patients. Sophumelela also established a daycare centre and school for the children of clients and other AIDS-affected orphans and vulnerable children in greater East London. To round out this list of comprehensive services, Sophumelela created a social enterprise and development program called "Work for All," to assists patients with skills-building, job creation, and placement.
"TA-NPI picked up on the gaps," says Andre Bezuidenhout, Sophumelela General Manager. "Within a month of identifying our needs, they called us in for referral network training. They also helped us to develop a system of client assistance service providers."
Mr. Bezuidenhout concurs. "Currently, in the East London region, we're the only organization with an M&E system in place. Every other organization eliminated themselves from the Global Fund award because they had no M&E system."
With TA-NPI's support, Sophumelela has made tremendous progress. Program managers now have the skills to effectively run their departments and, as a result, have taken the lead in day-to-day management. Sophumelela now provides its patients with the quality HIV care and comprehensive support services they need. In addition, Sophumelela is now a strong partner for other organizations and the government in the Eastern Cape.
"TA-NPI has only helped us," says Dr. Schaefer. "Yes, there's extra work, but they made us into a better organization. It's actually established our NGO."
To date, Sophumelela has reached more than 3,800 people with its comprehensive services and hopes to continue expanding in the coming years, in response to the needs of the community and national priorities.
|Related Project: Technical Assistance to the New Partners Initiative (TA-NPI) (2008-2013)|