The best start for every young life

Too many children die before they’re five. Many more grow up in poverty and neglect. All because they don’t have the nutrition, education and support they need to survive and grow up strong.

We’re working to ensure children grow up with a safe home, good nutrition and access to healthcare –so they can survive and get the best start in life.

Meet Dimakatso and her son Goitsimang

‘’Last month Goitsimang had a test for HIV and I was so proud that I did something good. He is negative. My child will grow up healthy.’’

I have lots of responsibility. I’m the oldest and look after a younger brother, sister and my Aunts son who is 5 - and my baby boy. My Aunt and Mum need to make money – they are in a factory in Krugersdorp, four hours from here. 

In 2014 I realised I have HIV positive status, I went to the clinic for tests and since then I have been taking medication, I was 18. I am wary of people being judge-y. Before I felt uncomfortable about what people might think, but now I say yes I am living with HIV and that is fine.

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My baby (Goitsimang) was 7 months when mothers2mothers came – Ayanda, a Peer Mentor from there, explained mothers2mothers is a club that encourages young mothers in how to raise their children with a healthy lifestyle. 

Ayanda explained it’s important to keep taking the medicine so I can’t pass HIV to my child whilst I’m breastfeeding. Also eating healthy food and exercise. It helped me a lot to understand having HIV is not the end of the world – being positive is not like being sick, as long as you take your medicine very well. I can share everything with her. If things are hard I can talk to her and feel more comfortable and happy. 

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I enjoy speaking to other mums. We help each other. I am someone without a lot of friends so mother2mother is also friendships – I go out of the house and meet people. Now I have gained back my confidence, I smile every day and I feel happy when Ayanda comes with toys, or I go to playgroup.

Last month Goitsimang had a test for HIV and I was so proud that I did something good. He is negative. My child will grow up healthy.

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