Project information

Wellness Programme: healthcare in rural areas

The Wellness Programme aims to ensure the physical, mental and social wellbeing of children to maximise their learning capabilities. The Starfish Wellness Wagon provides testing for HIV, TB and diabetes and access to treatment and medication for vulnerable children in rural communities.

January 2017 - December 2017

Charity information: Starfish Greathearts Foundation

Starfish Greathearts Foundation logo
  • Need


    South Africa is suffering from the legacy of apartheid, poverty and HIV, with 3 million children orphaned by AIDS. Negative health indicators are particularly high in KwaZulu Natal province, where our partners report a lack of services in areas of healthcare, education and nutrition. This project aims to solve challenges of accessing healthcare and negative impacts on the health and wellbeing of vulnerable children as a result.


    The Wellness Programme seeks to improve health outcomes in rural communities across South Africa. Following a successful pilot the Wellness Wagon will travel between 6 Community Based Organisations providing vulnerable children with access to quality healthcare services. Taking a holistic approach, this project will improve the physical, mental and social well-being of children; allowing them to be treated and immunised whilst remaining in education and maximizing learning potential.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Provide immunisations and educate communities on the importance of the 'Road to Health Card' (RTHC)


    » Professional nurse to provide immunisations for children and update their RTHC.

    in 2017 3,500 children from 6 Starfish supported community groups will have received top to toe check ups and immunisations, and have their cards up to date.

    Aim 2

    To detect HIV, TB and diabetes from an early age and provide effective treatment.


    » Professional nurse to provide screening for TB and testing for HIV and diabetes.
    » Professional nurse to administer treatment and provide follow up visits to keep records and monitor children's progress.

    3,500 children from 6 Starfish supported CBOs will have been tested for TB, HIV and diabetes, will know their status and will have received relevant follow up treatment.

    Aim 3

    To prevent mineral deficiencies and malnourishment in children and educate carers in dietetics.


    » Assessing the key growth indicators and highlighting any anomalies to the carer, ensuring children receive daily meals and/or supplements.

    3,500 children from 6 Starfish supported CBOs will have been assessed by a professional nurse and received food parcels and supplements.

  • Impact


    Healthcare delivery to children in rural areas will be strengtened.The success of the project will be demonstrated by the number of children reached and their overall wellbeing. Early diagnosis of HIV, TB and diabetes will dramatically increase the quality of children’s lives and good nutrition will improve concentration, school attendance and education prospects. Educated careworkers and families will share their skills and knowledge with the wider community, sustaining good health practices.


    The potential risks include staff turnover, stock levels and efficient management at a CBO level. Having worked closely with our CBOs for 14 years, we have a robust plan in place to ensure these risks are mitigated. The Wellness Wagon is serviced and stocked on a quarterly basis and by re-visiting the CBOs every 6 weeks to check the children's progress, the staff remain engaged with the project.


    We receive quarterly financial, narrative and statistical reports for our donors and in addition will provide real time reports back from the CBOs and wider communities in the form of case studies, pictures and interviews with local staff.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £33,121

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      Amount Heading Description
      £4,235 Driver salary Drivers salary for 6 CBOs
      £8,470 Nurse salary nurse salary for time at 6 CBOs
      £4,600 Support services Costs of running vehicle
      £6,000 Material support Medical supplies and equipment
      £5,800 Project Management fees Follow up with CBOs, monitoring and evaluation
      £4,016 Care worker stipends 18 field workers

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    IFP £10,000 Guaranteed
    Dorfred CT £1,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Wellness Wagon will work with CBOs in rural KwaZulu Natal where there are the high levels of poverty, HIV/AIDS prevalence, poor health indicators and high orphan rates leading to substantial numbers of child headed households. We will work with our well established partners who have roots in local communities in some of the most rural areas that lack basic services like electricity and water.


    Our project will positively impact communities experiencing high poverty, selected based on evidence of vulnerability from national and local strategic plans. Some of the documented poverty indicators affecting these communities include lack of access to basic healthcare and nutrition, high unemployment and high AIDS prevalence. Funding received for the Wellness Programme can be restricted to the donors area of interest.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are recognised as experts in the field, having had 14 years of experience on the ground and developed an effective monitoring and evaluation system to show our impact on the lives of vulnerable children. We have long-standing partnerships with local CBOs, which enables us to liaise well with local communities, and have proven that we can empower communities and improve the lives of thousands of vulnerable children. Our countrywide network covers 33 partners and 12,000 children.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Melissa Thumbra

    As a Programme Manager, Melissa will oversee the roll out, organise supplies and training and monitor progress, through visits and regular follow up.