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Alcohol and substance abuse

Tumelo is a 32 years old man (not the real name) that I met in the field on one of my day to day work. During our discussions together on alcohol and drug abuse, he confessed that he is using alcohol at a high rate and he is also addicted to smoking dagga, which has since affected his studies and his parents at home.We started having discussion about this, but he was acting as if he is no longer cared for his life and his studies. After referring him to the social worker for further assessment, I checked him two times every week for three weeks. It seemed at the third week that something had been clicking in his mind, even though behaviour and attitude change comes with time, he was much better. I continued visiting and talking to him and his parents to help him take good decisions in the process. He was now willing to change, as he was also going for appointments with the social worker.After a month, when I checked him, he was sober and promising to take his studies serious. He was at a teacher training college, and his lectures confirmed to the social worker that he was better. He said he was only drinking because of the peer pressure that he encountered at school and now he wanted me to meet his friends so that we discuss about issues like alcohol and drug abuse. As we speak, he joined an out of school youth club in his ward for anti-alcohol and substance abuse, as a way of helping others to change for the better in future.

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family planning challanges

In one of the savings group in Mabutsane sub district, there was a lady of 32 years who has eight children, four boys and four girls. The discussion was very open since they all agreed that whatever is discussed in their meeting its confidential. One member asked the lady if she knew about family planning methods. She answered by saying that her husband doesn’t want her to use it. To her it was very clear that she was talking about condom though others were talking about different methods of family planning. And one of the members asked “tota mme wena o dirwa ke eng go tshola thata jaana? Meaning what really made her to have so many children. She did not answer. After a while another member said “ Gare mme kana tramisine e hona clinikin  nna iya gkare ke bona go ya go sele gka ya go I itchela’’. [In sekgalagadi tone] Meaning that there are methods of preventing pregnancy that she can go for like injection and others at the health facility. She replied by saying:”gare motcho yo ong ha bate bilo ze biyong” [in sekgalagadi tone], meaning the partner is not interested in family planning methods. He becomes very angry when the woman tries to talk about family planning methods he will say: ’’Lla wa simolola go ratja hakere, o bata go ntjaola’’ it means you want to cheat and control me.

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Taung Village about CATCH Approach

I am a lady of 48 years of age, living in Taung Village in South East District. I heard about the CATCH approach last year November 2015 through the community mobiliser Mr Garetshele from HOPE Humana. Mr Garetshele visited households and is presenting about the CATCH approach. This is interesting because he was talking about zero infections in the community. I was one of the community members who has attended the dream building session at the kgotla, where we were asked to come with our community concerns and the following was brought forward: Alcohol, HIV and crime and this has opened my mind and I am in a position to come with solutions to problem I encounter. I really like the CATCH approach because it involves, engages all the community members. CATCH is a good approach, a good community mobilization strategy that builds the community. I would say, through intensive education the community have improved the way they used to handle concerns and this will help us to stop the dependence syndrome of the government. People are now free to test for HIV and are free to talk about their HIV status. I really applaud the community facilitators and Humana People to People staff for the good work. I also would also like to thank Kgosi Ramolefe for encouraging people in the community to attend the kgotla meetings during dream building session.

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14 years old girl

In Kanye District, one of our Community Health Workers went on her field of operation doing door to door teaching about HIV prevention and gender based violence. She came across a certain house hold where there was a mother with 3 children and during the discussion the mother agreed to be offered an HIV test especially to the children since she knew her status. The first children tested negative. She asked us to come in the evening when all the children are home. She mentioned that it will be of good help since the elder daughter who is 14 years old she was losing weight and also her academic results were going down, she insisted that we also do HIV test since she was born negative.The mother mentioned that the children had social issues because she was always emotional during the discussions. On the 24th February we revisited the house and met with the daughter and were able to discuss with her issues of abuse and HIV prevention but she was not free to respond. She only responded asked if she was willing to be tested and she agreed. The mother signed the consent form. The counsellor waited for the result and it came out positive.

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A lady in rejection of her HIV status

I met a lady who told me that she tested HIV positive 2 years ago and she was very bitter about the results. She told me that knowing that she was positive she decided that she will not die alone, so she started having more partners and she had unprotected sex with them and she thought by doing this she was doing something good to herself and even to those she was involved with. She told me that she didn’t even bother herself to go for CD4 count checking or being screened for TB. She said she continued with that for a period of one year.

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