Friday, January 18, 2008

Elton & David Visit EJAF Projects In Africa

During his time in Cape Town this week, Elton and his partner, David Furnish, visited projects funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation. To date the Elton John AIDS Foundation has funded some 150 projects in South Africa alone, totalling around ZAR 88 Million ($12,559,000 US).

One of these projects is mothers2mothers (m2m) - a South African based non-governmental organisation (NGO) that was founded to help support and enhance the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS. An education, psychosocial mentoring and support organization, m2m serves HIV-positive pregnant women and new mothers, empowering them to improve their health, the likelihood of their survival, and the health of their babies.

During his visit, Elton met with HIV-positive pregnant women in support groups and heard about their experiences first-hand, as well as meeting new mothers who had successfully gone through the programme, together with their HIV-negative babies. Elton said, 'Mothers2mothers is a dynamic programme, which can be seen in the proof of HIV-positive women giving birth to HIV-negative babies, thus ending the cycle of infection, resulting in a new generation of healthy children.'

Elton's Cape Town concert on 13th January was attended by mother mentors from m2m and other representatives of projects funded by the Foundation. Our photo shows Elton and David Furnish and an HIV-negative child at mothers2mothers project at Site B Hospital, Khayelitsha.

Elton and David also visited Baphumelele, a project he has seen first hand before, and where funding for the Elton John AIDS Foundation has included financing the building of a number of 'cluster homes', three of which were officially opened by Elton during his visit. Run by Rosalia Mashale, Baphumelele is a community model of care for children, a safe refuge, and it now offers other services including respite care.

Elton said, 'Rosalia is a totally inspirational person. I cannot believe the transformation that has been achieved since my last visit in 2005. I am delighted that support from my Foundation has been able to effect such amazing change. It's wonderful to see happy and well cared-for children.'

Our photo shows Elton, Rosalia Mashale and David Furnish at the official opening of one of three new cluster homes - each housing eight children.


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