Bolata AIDS Project is a Community-based Organization located in Qwa Qwa, a formerly designated Sotho homeland situated in a remote dry, mountainous area of the Free State province.  Qwa Qwa remains a marginalized community of about one million people with very limited access to basic infrastructure, services and industry.  High rates of HIV/AIDS, unemployment and adult illiteracy hamper development efforts.

Bolata was formed by Daniel Sefatsa in 2001 as a youth project, to provide palliative care to prevent HIV transmission and reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS.  This group’s focus is on HIV/AIDS education in the schools and community, with the distribution of condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Their support for young people living with HIV/AIDS includes home-based care and permaculture gardening to supply fresh vegetables for their 25 patients.

The group runs weekly support group meetings for People Living With AIDS based in clinics, providing information and education.  This helps their patients cope with the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and get encouragement and support, with monitoring their Anti-Retroviral Treatment.

Bolata is headed by a Project Manager, a very competent Office Administrator, and 14 young home-based carers who are very active in the field.  A newly established board for governance and accountability is made up of community members who have the responsibility of looking after the organisation’s resources and ensuring that its mission is executed.

In their own words…

“We have a mission to empower our community with necessary and useful information in order for them to take necessary precautionary measures in preventing the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. We want to spread awareness among the youth, support and care for the HIV-infected and affected, including the orphans and vulnerable children.”