Vision of AIDS Village in South Africa
February 4, 2002
In South Africa, where the AIDS pandemic is claiming at least one in ten citizens, there is a growing problem of what to do with those who have reached the terminal stage of the disease. Many are poor, and thousands who are languishing in hospitals have nowhere else to go. Other critically ill patients are turned away for lack of bed space.Adapted from:
One woman with a vision hopes to change all that with the country's first AIDS village, built in Roodepoort. "We want them to have a dignified last couple of months on Earth and the very best that human nature can give to them," said Corine McClintock, executive director of Sparrow Ministries.
With a gift of several thousand dollars from a European donor and some government grants, McClintock hired architect David Van der Berg, who created igloo-shaped units that at first glance look like something from another planet. "These days they know shapes definitely influence people," he said, "and this type of building is . . . beneficial to humans."
Among the would-be residents are toddlers, schoolchildren, and residents of an overcrowded hospice nearby. Ultimately some 450 AIDS patients will live in 24 cluster units in the kibbutz-styled community. There will be a cluster for crafts, where those who are able will create items for sale. There will also be a school, although that will have to wait, along with other buildings that are planned, until more money is raised.
Unemployed locals have been hired and given the materials to make the bricks, which are sold to the project, while others build the structures. The units take about a day and a half to construct. With the village almost up and running, those who made it possible want to see villages like this one in every province in the nation, and every country in Africa.
01.25.02; Charlayne Hunter-Gault
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.