Hoedspruit Training Trust Director, Christine du Preez won the Hlokomela award for her HIV and AIDS education and treatment programme targeting workers, including foreign migrants in the agriculture, nature conservation and tourism sectors in Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province. The programme aims to reduce the HIV vulnerability through peer education awareness raising, prevention and treatment. An estimated 12 000 people are reached through these activities.She received the award and was the winner of the SA’s Most Influential Women in Civil Society Organisations &RelatedServices.The award was from CEO communications at a gala dinner in Johannesburg 31 July 2013.
Christine du Preez director of Hlokomela was nominated and selected as a finalist for the individual category “The Southern Africa Trust, and Mail and Guardian 2008 Drivers of change-Investing In the future”.
Her programme received a Silver award from IMPUMELELO in 2010. Christine was invited as a member of the non-governmental organisation to participate in the creation of the 2007-2011 strategic plan for the prevention and treatment Of AIDS and STI’S . She also received an award from the Mail and Guardian in 2009 for “Inventing in Life as well as being part of the Impumelelo book series: Exceptional Women in 2005-2011.
Christine was elected as an Ashoka Fellow in April 2014. Christine is providing migrant and residential farm workers in rural areas in South Africa with a set of on-site integrated health solutions, especially related to HIV/AIDS, by employing a peer-to-peer caregiving structure that reinforces behavior change towards a positive lifestyle. This is done in parallel to the building of a working environment that is conducive to the acceptance of their health condition both by their peers and their employers.
The PPS Professional woman of the year award 2014. Awarded to Christine in recognition of her efforts to increase employment levels within a community through a job-creation initiative that aims to uplift and motivate other women.
Christine showcased Hlokomela at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City from 3-8 August 2008, XVIII Conference in Vienna, 2010 and 2012 in Washington DC. Hlokomela’s presentation, “Farm Workers Caring for Each Other in Hoedspruit, South Africa: An Integrated Approach to Preventing and Addressing HIV on Commercial Farms,” raised awareness about the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Limpopo and provided information about our project, which seeks to reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS amongst farm workers and their families in the Hoedspruit area.
Christine also attended the National AIDS congresses in Toronto (2008) and Australia (2014)
Hoedspruit Training Trust is a non-governmental organisationthat seeks to reduce the prevalence ofHIV/AIDS among farm workers and theirfamilies.The Trust also provides peer education andsensitises, trains and mentors male role models with the aimof addressing issues such as gender-based violence, transactionalsex, and poor health-seeking behaviour among men.
“A huge part of the work involves providing primaryhealth care by training and mentoring workers as caregivers.We go further and develop and implement an integratedsocial-change communication programme.This is oftendone through billboards, pamphlets and other material, allwith the aim of promoting behaviour change in order toreduce high-risk behaviour,”
Behind the humanitarian work and caring Du Preez is an ethicalwoman who values honesty, openness, trust and commitment.
“I try to live out all these values, and I hope that I am anexample to my fellow farm workers and others around me.”
Such are the words of an individual who has done well for hercommunity and, as she reveals, still has a lot of work ahead.She completed a Hospice Palliative Care of South Africa coursein 2013 and it is her hope to have a hospice programme offeringhome-based palliative care to terminally ill patients as wellas supporting their families. “By doing this, it will be my ownsmall way of making sure that people in the last phases of incurablediseases retain their dignity and remain as meaningfuland as comfortable as possible.”
FOCUS on EXCELLENCE