Nkosi’s Haven hamstrung by funding woes
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.