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Project information

Caring to Train - Training to Care

Caring for children through their bereavement and foster placement, assisting them maintain a sense of normality whilst building a new life. Training unemployed community women to provide care for the ill, secure livelihoods and provide a future for communities through supporting their children.

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: Bitou Community Foundation Trust

Bitou Community Foundation Trust logo
  • Need


    33,000 Households in the Bitou area fall below the poverty line. A family member with a life-limiting illness has no safety nets: family members cannot afford to give up work to care for them. Very often bereaved children are kept home to attend to all ill family member cutting education short and compounding their own bereavment. BUT, many women in the community who are unemployed, lacking in access to opportunity. We hope to train them and develop their value as assets in the community.


    Unemployed women in will be “trained to care” for patients living with a life-limiting illness (including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV, TB, end-stage organ failure). This will develop their personal and professional skills and build the community’s capacity to care for itself and for others. Importantly it will enable these women to access the job market as carers, improving at the same time the basic health literacy level of the communities in which they live.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    “Care to Train”: Harness the power of unemployed women as community assets & agents for health


    » Encourage capable women to recognise their value as assets to the community & provide formal training to develop their skills as carers
    » Train carers in health literacy, how to care for sick patients at home, & how to recognise the psycho-social needs of children affected
    » Monitor and mentor home based carers in the effective operation, administration and successful delivery of their activities
    » Assist carers in their engagement with their communities in by offering health screening, testing, health promotion & education in health management

    What success will look like

    Number of women trained

    Aim 2

    Trained to Care: Supporting the psycho-social needs of children affected by loss


    » Assist patients & their families in accessing care at home through contribution towards carer stipends & assisting families accessing govt grants
    » Used trained home based carers to provide home-based care to ill parents to ensure children can continue their schooling
    » Provide age & stage appropriate counselling, play therapy, group support for children affected by parents or siblings living with a dying parent

    What success will look like

    Number of children and families cared for

    Aim 3

    Build communities with the capacity to care


    » Support the provision of psycho-social care to bereaved and/or orphaned children in impoverished communities helping them become healthy adults
    » Develop the capacity of communities to care - for their children, for their women and for their families, developing their skills and livelihoods

    What success will look like

    Successful establishment of communities members with health and care literacy, able to care for the sick, the bereaved and themselves

  • Impact


    Enabling access to health care, emotional support & dignity when dying with comfort in knowledge of children supported for their future. Enhancing employability through improved personal & professional development for unemployed women, developing health literacy & care options for families caring for patients living with life-limiting illnesses, ensuring children are not denied schooling in order to care for sick family members, are enduring gains for women, children and the community at large


    The primary risks are financial: women need to earn an income to support their families. Typically patients, families, potential caregivers are poor and can neither afford care not provide it for nothing. Families often can't access government support grants that are available, nor can untrained carers. We believe building the capacity of communities by training community carers will increase access & affordability, enabling more compassionate services especially for children.


    We provide bespoke and detailed reports on all initiatives and all donors are invited to sign up to our quarterly newsletter reporting on achievements, with annual reports and customised donor reports being available on request.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £35,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £7,950 Training Training & mentorship for 20 community women
      £12,600 Professional Skills Professional Nurse & Social Worker mentorship & support
      £8,850 Stipends Stipends for women - first three months (to be replaced by govt grants)
      £1,780 Health packs Health backpacks for HBC (blood pressure, thermometer, bandages etc.)
      £360 Play Therapy Play therapy assuming 50 children x 6 sessions ea @£20
      £300 Education Educational support (uniforms, stationery, extra lessons: provision R100 per child per anum
      £1,100 Social Support Social support (food parcels, housing, govt grant access (provision R60 per child over 6 months)
      £2,060 Governance Programme administration and governance
  • Background


    Our focus is in township communities, deliberate creations of urban planning by the apartheid government to segregate by skin colour; exacerbated by differential access to resources. We serve communities in the Bitou region of South Africa, an area of 992 square kms with a population of approximately 72 000 of which 30% are unemployed and 33000 households earn less than £100 pm. This is especially sad as the major town in this region, Plettenberg Bay, is a wealthy tourist and retirement haven.


    Our beneficiaries in the first instance are patients living with life-limiting illnesses, at the end of life. The families & especially children/siblings of these patients are equally important beneficiaries. The benefit of the project extends to the unemployed women of the region and the community at large who will enjoy improved quality of life through the promotion of health and wellbeing for all, support for the dying and comprehensive assistance to the children left behind

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    PlettAid, our South African implementing beneficiary, has over 15 yrs experience providing comprehensive home-based care to patients & families from disadvantaged communities. Its palliative home-based care programme has adapted to the specific needs & constraints of township communities and cares for more than 250 families each year, providing access to quality health care, assisting children & families to improve their psycho-social circumstances & life skills & developing community assets.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Cecily Van Heerden


    Edward Muchenje

    Senior Professional Nurse

    Delsie Mthembu

    Registered Social Worker

    Alison Engelke

    Finance, Administration & Governance


will provide nutritional support and food parcels to a patient and family for three months.

“The moment Plett Hospice entered our lives, they improved and we were able to find meaning in this journey”

Paula whose husband passed away