Community care workers in South Africa have their say

In the field article written on the 20 Feb 2012

Photo: Sarah Crozier/OxfamAUS

Based in the Ufafa Valley in KwaZulu Natal, Oxfam partner Woza Moya has been providing care and support to people affected and infected by HIV and AIDs for the last 12 years. Their 38 community care workers (CCWs) have built strong relationships with local families, training up household caregivers, educating families about HIV and AIDS and ensuring that vulnerable children are well cared for.

But with the Department of Health planning to restructure home-based care in South Africa, Woza Moya and its community care workers fear that the welfare of the households and families within their care may be compromised. How will the government recruit CCWs? Will they employ applicants, and if so, will it be based solely on education or will they look for qualities like empathy and compassion? How will they train new CCWs, and who will pay them? How will the management and support of the CCWs happen?

With government’s inconsistent approach to consulting with care workers across various provinces, there is much confusion and uncertainty within the sector — so Woza Moya’s CCWs decided to make themselves heard. With the help of their Oxfam-trained social media group, they produced these two videos, in which they ask pertinent questions and make some thoughtful suggestions.

Find out more

Read about Oxfam’s work in Southern Africa

Learn more about our work with HIV and AIDs in South Africa