Nkosi’s Haven ham­strung by fund­ing woes

Pretoria News - - METRO - MPHO MOTAUNG

A ONCE lively and beau­ti­ful Nkosi John­son Haven is slowly fall­ing into ruin as it strug­gles to keep its doors open.

Gail John­son said com­pared with 2001 when HIIV/Aids pa­tients had no hope of sur­vival, now that it (virus) was man­age­able and peo­ple seemed more ac­cept­ing, donors no longer see a need to help af­fected mothers and chil­dren.

“When Nkosi was alive, the HIV virus was still new. Ev­ery­one was ter­ri­fied of the dis­ease, more es­pe­cially the peo­ple that were in­fected. As a re­sult mothers and their chil­dren would be put out, and some mothers would leave their chil­dren at or­phan­ages.

“Life for peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/ Aids was hard, me and Nkosi started this project be­cause we saw a need. Now the dis­ease is man­age­able peo­ple think that the needs of these mothers and chil­dren have changed,” said John­son. The vil­lage has been a refuge for over 20 years to mothers and chil­dren liv­ing with HIV/Aids.

Al­though the vil­lage is home to chil­dren liv­ing with full-blown Aids, blind­ness, mute­ness, deaf­ness and phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties, it still does not get gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

John­son said the run­ning cost per month was over R400 000 be­cause they host nearly 120 peo­ple with var­i­ous metic­u­lous needs that are costly.

They have been try­ing to reg­is­ter as a child and youth care cen­tre for the past three years so that they can ac­cess gov­ern­ment fund­ing with no suc­cess.

John­son said she would rather sell her as­sets and some of the foun­da­tion’s as­sets than see Nkosi’s Haven doors close down. “Nkosi’s Haven will not close its doors as long as I’m still alive,” she said.

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