Nkosi’s Haven is named after Nkosi Johnson, the young AIDS activist who passed away on International Children’s Day on June 1st 2001, who dearly wanted a facility that would care for mothers and their children. He had been separated from his mother because of the HIV diagnosis and he never wanted that to happen to any other child. He also wanted HIV positive people to be cared for without discrimination or prejudice.
At Nkosi’s Haven, all of our mothers and children live in total ‘freedom’ at one of our two locations in Johannesburg. All of the children attend school , receive all disciplines of therapy, play, remedial, occupational, speech, and hopefully soon art and sport. The mothers are encouraged to build their capacity through various activities, during which, if leadership and initiative is shown, an internal position can be offered (such as cook, childcare worker, matron, resident manager etc.) Nkosi’s Haven also ask mothers to ‘foster’ the young resident orphans, hopefully providing for some additional support and substitute for the loss of their own mothers.
Over the past decade Nkosi’s has strived to become a prototype for holistic care for women and children affected by HIV/AIDS. While the energy and passion of the staff and dedicated volunteers has allowed Nkosi’s to achieve this for those residing at Nkosi’s Haven in Berea, and at the second site, the Nkosi’s Haven Village in Alan Manor, Johannesburg, they are in a position whereby, with additional funding, they will be able to expand their facilities and accommodate more resident women and children. Further, Nkosi’s has recently purchased a piece of fertile farm land just outside of Johannesburg. While they currently do not have the capital to develop this site, they hope to use it not only to grow food to feed an increasing number of residents, but as a site for individual capacity building, and economic empowerment through the sale of surplus crops.
Through all of the work at Nkosi’s Haven, we ensure that our residents learn how to live with AIDS, not die from it. With this objective in mind, we have built a happy and energetic community where children can develop and become self-confident, mature, and responsible members of their community.