Community Mothers of Yabonga

Location: South Africa, Cape Town, Khayelitsha
Project: Community Mothers of Yabonga


Community Mother: ‘If I could stand on a mountain and shout 2 words the whole country could hear, I would scream “Vuka Uzenzele!”. In Xhosa that means “Get up and do it yourself’. I am frustrated by people who blame society for their problems - the truth is no matter what your problem, you are the only person responsible for solving them”.

Short description:

The Community Mothers of Yabonga are women who opened their doors to accommodate orphans and other vulnerable children after school. The women go through 10 weeks of training in which topics like basic HIV education, child and care, and personal development are discussed. The children of the programme are taken care of after school by ‘their’ Community Mother in an afternoon programme filled with support groups, play therapy, creative activities and homework supervision. They also monitor the children’s health. The Community Mothers didn’t just open their doors for the children but also their hearts, they’ve built a relationship of deep trust with their children. The small houses of the Community Mothers are a safe haven for the children. The children seek refuge here, even outside the regular programme.


Community Mothers Yabonga aims to help children with an HIV/Aids-related trauma by providing care and counselling. It creates a safe place where they feel accepted and where someone takes care of them.
  • The programme assists children in taking their medication on a regular basis to keep them healthy and their immune system stable.
  • All children participating in the programme receive an ongoing education on HIV-related topics, both the medical/psychological and the social impact.
One of the focus points of Yabonga is prevention by creating HIV awareness, offering sex education appropriate for different ages, building their confidence and respect for their own bodies and by teaching them to resist group pressure.


At the beginning of the new school year the 200 poorest children are provided with a school uniform, school materials and toiletries. This year Yabonga started HIV counselling and a testing tour to encourage children and caregivers to get themselves tested. Up until now, 8 campaigns took place at the Yabonga Support Centres. 306 children were tested and many caregivers were present to support the children. The professional Yabonga team was responsible for the pre- and aftercare depending on the outcome. Workshops were organised for the team. During these workshops they learned to offer counselling concerning raising children and to update HIV/AIDS information. Two of the Community Mothers got a leading position, they are now team leaders of the child-and-adolescent counsellors and other local Community Mothers.

Information about Partner

The Community Mothers of Yabonga are supported by 4 great partners:
  • M.A.C. AIDS Fund,
  • Orange Heart 4 Hope,
  • Dobber family
  • Wintermans family