Living Water’s charity projects
Living-Water is committed to supporting charity projects. Since 2004 we have supported the Friends of Mothers Program which provides support to families in South Africa suffering from the effects of HIV and AIDS.
HIV is a virus that weakens the immune system, but many people who are infected look and feel healthy because HIV takes 3 - 5 years to damage the immune system. Once weakened, the body cannot defend itself properly and the person becomes very sick and develops AIDS.
A pregnant woman, who has the HIV virus can pass it on to her baby when she is pregnant, gives birth or breast-feeds. Before Dr. Mitchell Besser, an American doctor, started The Friends of Mothers Program more than 1 in 3 babies born to an HIV positive mother would get the HIV virus in South Africa. Babies who have the HIV virus often get sick and usually die when they are very small. Almost all children who are HIV positive die before they are 8 years old.
Through the sterling work of the The Friends of Mothers Programme, South African women realize there are ways to minimize the risk of passing HIV to their new born.
The Friends of Mothers Programme is unique and develops and supports mothers' social, emotional, and physical health, helps them achieve economic independence, and de-stigmatize HIV infection in families and communities. Preventing mother to child transmission is not a complex medical procedure, but reaching the mothers is the difficulty.
The Friends of Mothers Program takes women from pregnancy through the first year of their child's life and beyond. Peer education groups in each clinic are led by trained, Mentor Mothers, themselves mothers living with HIV who have been through the programs and have given birth to, and are alive to raise, virus free children.
Since inception in 2001, The Friends of Mothers Program has grown from a single program, single site organization to a 30 site multi-program, multi-site organization and growing. Mothers helping other mothers! A simple yet powerful concept. But for HIV positive women in South Africa, it represents hope.
In December we were proud to sponsor and be part of the Paarl Clinic Friends to Mothers Christmas Party. At the party many presents were donated to all the children so that they would have a Christmas party to remember.
Vivian, our marketing angel, took responsibility for much of the face painting of both mothers and children - thank you Vivian.
Each October Living-Water organises a UK collection from all our customers for unused children's toys to ship to "Friends to Mothers" and ensure all the small children in other parts of South Africa infected with HIV get a Christmas present and party. We will contact all clients in October and collect gifts while making our water deliveries.
Guy Florin, Living-Water MD, Sales and Marketing, reported, "The mothers and children we met and played with at the Paarl Christmas party were a testimony to the great work being carried out by Friends to Mothers. We danced, played cricket and football, and did a lot of face painting - the response and bravery of both mothers and children really touched my heart - Thank you Friends to Mothers and thank you Dialogue for getting us involved with such a great charity".
Tamsin Beukus, Living-Water Head of Sales, "What a great charity. I am proud to have been a part of a truly wonderful day when mothers, children and our own staff danced to the same music. Next year I really want to make sure we collect enough gifts from all our customers to give the children infected with HIV right across South Africa a Christmas to remember, not just those around Cape Town".
If you want to know more about Friends to Mothers you can see their website www.mothersprogrammes.org
For as little as $30 (£17) you can sponsor one mother and child to complete the programme and prevent another Aids orphan. Donations, company or individual can be made through the Mothers Program website.