The Wellness Foundation works with healthcare providers who support people living with HIV in South Africa. The goal is to improve the healthcare system and reach the vision of equal care for all.

 

Background

The majority of the 5.5 million South Africans living with HIV are cared for at home. The healthcare providers are primarily women without education and enough compensation to take care of those who need support. Their work is done outside the public sector and is therefore often invisible. The work is heavy and the compensation is low which leads to many healthcare providers experiencing that their own physical and mental health is in danger. Today, healthcare providers are usually organized through non-governmental organizations, the Wellness Foundation is one of them.

 

The Wellness Foundation project

The Wellness Foundation works with healthcare providers and several of them live with HIV. For ten years, the organization has supported and strengthened the position of caregivers in the society by helping them to organize themselves in the fight against the inequalities in the health care. Together they fight for reasonable wages and good working conditions. They are fighting for their work to become a part of the public sector and not to be seen as a women’s job that is not entitled to compensation. Wellness Foundation’s work means that the healthcare providers are placed in focus. They organize workshops for stress management and relaxation. There, caregivers have the opportunity to share their experiences and receive support from the group.

 

Meetings for a stronger self-esteem

“One of our members died and another got a stroke because the stress was too much to handle,” says healthcare provider Anna Genu.

Anna Genu has done the Wellness Foundation’s one-year course “I feel good”, which focuses on the mental and physical health of the healthcare providers.

“Imagine if we knew of these self-strengthening exercises before, before caregivers were forced to be taken out of work. I urge everyone to support the Wellness Foundation so that they can continue to support healthcare providers”, says Anna Genu.

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