Our Mission

Generating growth for African children and communities devastated by HIV-AIDS and poverty, through the goodwill of people in the UK and elsewhere

GAGA Project - 1000 Hills Community Helpers - News

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Look at that Cake!

Look at that Cake!

Do you remember Philani? 

We've shared his story a couple of times...

Philani first arrived at the 1000 Hills Community Centre after losing both his parents who were murdered in their home. Life without parents is a sad reality for many children in South Africa.

After the tragedy, Philani had been taken in by a neighbour. With an extra mouth to feed in her already large family, with limited resources, she struggled to care for Philani. She took Philani to the centre, having heard that they might be able to help her. Philani arrived severely malnourished, underweight and in very poor health.

The staff were able to care for him, closely monitor him, and put him on the correct food. They supported the neighbour to help her care for Philani. They also registered Philani at the 1000 Hills pre-school, where he would receive 2 meals a day and where the teachers could keep an eye on him. They also ensured he came back to the clinic weekly for check-ups. Within just a few weeks Philani was gaining weight and absolutely fell in love with his teacher and class mates.

We are so happy to report that Philani is still being supported by the 1000 Hills Community Centre and is growing in to a healthy little boy. No longer is he 'the baby' of the class, but amongst the strongest in his year. He absolutely loves his food and his favourite sport is football. There isn't a day that goes by that he isn't smiling.

Philani recently enjoyed his 3rd birthday and you can see the celebrations in a short video here. We hope he had a really happy day - it certainly looks like it!



Baby Ayanda...

Baby Ayanda...

An estimated 53 children under the age of five die in South Africa, every day, with 75% of these not reaching their first birthday.

This is Ayanda (name has been changed), who's been lovingly supported by staff at 1000 Hills Community Helpers.

She was premature and after a few days at home her weight dropped dangerously low. The mother came to the 1000 Hills clinic and the staff were able to discuss the different ways of feeding and support her through the difficult time.

Ayanda soon put on weight, with supervision from the clinic and is growing in to a very healthy little girl.

Without your support and donations, 1000 Hills would struggle to help babies like Ayanda and her mother.

Just £5 can help provide support to those like Ayanda. Simply click on the donate tab above to help babies and new mums access support in rural South Africa.

Thank you

Citadel continue to support GAGA UK

Citadel continue to support GAGA UK

We have a number of businesses supporting our work here at GAGA UK. Citadel Risk have been crucial in helping us to support the great work in providing healthcare to rural communities in South Africa, in partnership with 1000 Hills Community Helpers.

GAGA Director Sarah, had the chance to meet with Tony recently and to thank him and all at Citadel Risk for their support, donations and dedication.

If your business would like to find out more about supporting GAGA UK, just drop us an email on info@gaga-uk.org  and we'll send through an information pack.

Our support for 1000 Hills continues, with your help

Our support for 1000 Hills continues, with your help

This photo is from 1000 Hills Community Helpers.

GAGA UK provide funding to support their rural clinic, thanks to your donations.

1000 Hills have specific days at the clinic where the elderly can come for medical care as well as support in a whole variety of other ways. They can sit and chat with others, have a good meal, ask for advice, and feel loved and cared for.

The clinic also have a special baby day. Mums and babies can visit the clinic for advice on breastfeeding amongst other things. They get support from other new mums as well as the staff at the clinic. They can also receive a new baby pack full of useful bits and pieces.

Why is this all so important?

1000 Hills' vision is to improve the lives of HIV/AIDS affected children and adults in their local communities through treatment, clinics, feeding schemes, counselling, home-based care, creches and support groups. Part of their mission statement says 'we will love and teach our community that together we can make a difference.' We truly believe this here at GAGA too and we're proud to support their clinic. Your donations can help alleviate the suffering of the elderly and children in distress. A £5 donation could help 5 new mums access much needed support and care.

Together we can help to give hope where there is none. You can read more about 1000 Hills here.


Boy of 10 assisted by 1000 Hills

Boy of 10 assisted by 1000 Hills

We're so proud that we're able to continue supporting 1000 Hills Community Helpers and their Clinic.

We send quarterly funding, made possible only through your donations and support, which helps run their clinic. Thousands of individuals are supported throughout the year, from the neighbouring rural communities. They would otherwise, have to travel far and spend much more time and money to access medical support.

Recently a small boy of just 10 years old visited the clinic. He was alone, and had a bloody hand covered by a dirty cloth. He had been diggining in a pile of rubbish when he injured himself. He lived at home with his grandmother, but she had been out when the incident occured. The boy said that he knew if he came to the community centre, someone would be able to help him as he had come many times for food after school. His would was washed and cleaned, and he was given a tetanus jab.

He was taken home and left in the care of nearby neighbours. The young boy returned until the sutures were removed.

The clinic not only provided him with medical help but also a place of comfort and care, knowing that at any time help was available.

Philani's Story - An Update

Philani's Story - An Update

Back in May we brought you Philani's Story from 1000 Hills Community Helpers.

Dawn, founder and Director at 1000 Hills shared a story of hope and success from this community care centre. It reminded up of just how important the 1000 Hills Community Helpers Centre is and we wanted to share it with you once again.

Back in April, Philani arrived at 1000 Hills. He was severely malnourished and under-weight. Philani had tragically lost both his parents who had been shot when he was only a few months old.

With no other family, a neighbour took him under her care. She brought him to the centre, to visit the clinic. At the age of 2 years old he weighed just 6kg.

1000 Hills decided that they would care for him for the week so they could monitor his health. He was put in to Rosie's class, in the toddlers section at the school. Since he has been at the centre his health has improved drasticallys and his weight has increased to 9.1kg. He absolutely loves his food and of course his wonderful teacher.

We're so grateful that 1000 Hills is working hard and supporting people within the surrounding communities. Each year we provide funding for their clinic, enabling them to continue supporting all ages have access to health care and support. Thanks to your support and your donations, this funding can continue.

1000 Hills recently shared an updated photo of Philani, shown below. This week, they say "he is doing so well and just loves his food. He came to the offie to see if Gogo Dawn has a sweetie for him. Look at that mischievous face!"

You are helping thousands access medical care...

You are helping thousands access medical care...

You are helping us to provide annual funding towards 1000 Hills Community Helpers clinic, which helps hundreds of people in rural communities access health care and treatment. 1000 Hills is based in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa and provides free health care to those who need it most, to those affected by poverty, disease and unemployment.

It's through your donations that we can help to cover between 30 and 40% of the costs needed to keep this clinic running - for salaries, medication and resources, training and more.

Throughout April, May and June, hundreds of people were assisted. The clinic carried out almost 350 HIV tests (along with counselling), as well as over 1,500 CD4 counts (your CD4 levels decline when you are HIV positive; levels decide courses of treatment). 1000 Hills Community Helpers also have 32 caregivers who go out in to the communities to visit patients in their homes, who are perhaps too ill to get to the clinic. They have visited over 2000 people in the past 3 months alone.

1000 Hills Community Helpers is a community care centre with a clinic, pre-school and feeding programme (and much more). The centre really is a lifeline for the community. Here at GAGA, we are so proud of the impact we’re able to have there. Whilst visiting South Africa recently, Sarah was at 1000 Hills...

'I turned around a corner and there was this beautiful baby giggling and smiling right at me. I got talking to the mother who said that Sister Faith (who works part-time in the clinic), had really helped her through a difficult time. She had helped the mother by providing formula and education on how to care for her baby; as she is still at school she needed to mix-feed the baby. She was incredibly grateful for the support 1000 Hills had given her.'

1000 Hills Shows us why every donation is special...

1000 Hills Shows us why every donation is special...

We have a lovely story to share from the wonderful 1000 Hills Community Helpers this week...

'Today this little angel walked into our lives, only 4 weeks old and born prematurely she was in desparate need of clothing and food.

We dressed her up nice and warm in clean clothing and saw her off to our doctor for a check up.

This is why we emphasise the importance of donations for our babies.'

Well done to all at 1000 Hills for their amazing work and support of babies like this one. Huge thanks to all our donors and supporters who make their work possible. We are able to provide annual funding towards the running costs of their clinic, ensuring babies like this can access the treatment and care they need.

On her recent visit to South Africa, Sarah took out lots of knitted items which have been donated by various wonderful people here in the UK. Many of these donations were taken to 1000 Hills, to help little babies like this one.

Visit their website for further information.

Philani's Story

Philani's Story

Dawn, founder and Director at 1000 Hills, has recently shared a story of hope coming from the centre. It reminds us how important the 1000 Hills Community Helpers Centre is...

Philani arrived at 1000 Hills over a month ago. He was severely malnourished and under-weight. Philani tragically lost both his parents who had been shot when he was only a few months old.

With no other family, a neighbour took him under her care. She brought his to the centre to visit the clinic. At the age of 2 years old he weighed just 6kg.

1000 Hills decided that they would care for him for the week so they could monitor his health. He is in Rosie's class, in the toddlers section at the school. Since he has been at the centre his health has improved drastically and his weight has increased to 9.1kg.

He absolutely loves his food and of course his wonderful teacher.

We're so grateful that 1000 Hills is working hard and supporting people within the surrounding communities. Each year we provide funding for their clinic, enabling them to continue supporting all ages have access to health care and support. Thanks to your support and donations, this funding can continue.

Ensuring Children Access Healthcare

Ensuring Children Access Healthcare

Towards the end of the year in 2016, a 4 year old boy was carried in to the 1000 Hills Clinic, by his mother. He had been attacked by a bull, close to his home. His leg was severely wounded, he was in shock and pain, and was bleeding heaving.

The bleeding was stopped, and he was given some treatment for the pain. He was also given a tetanus shot. The wound was cleaned and the boy was sent home with his mum.

A week later the boy returned, with his mum, for a quick check  up. The boy's mother was so grateful that there was somewhere she could take her son. She said she didn't know what she would have done had the clinic not been here. She had no means of taking him anywhere else for help.

Baby time...

Baby time...

GAGA UK through your support, provides funding towards the clinic at 1000 Hills Community Helpers, along with many other funders. 
We are proud to be able to support 1000 Hills who run a clinic throughout the week with special days for babies and new mums, as well as for HIV/AIDS and TB support groups, for the elderly and general clinic days. They see hundreds of patients throughout a month, having a huge impact on the local community.

On site, there is also a baby room, and pre-school; a feeding programme and skills development opportunities. 
They do amazing work, and we would be unable to support their clinic without you! Thank you.

You can see more photos to put a smile on your face this Friday, by clicking here.

Why we do what we do

Why we do what we do

We want to share with you on a regular basis the reasons behind why we do what we do! This is not difficult as there are so many wonderful stories to share from the projects we support in South Africa and beyond, which show why we support them and how a difference is made. 

From April 2015 to March 2016 GAGA provided over R450,000 (just over £21,000) to 1000 Hills Community Helpers towards their wonderful clinic, supporting the surrounding rural communities. 

We did this because we knew it would have a huge impact and we were right!

This funding ensured that over 25,000 patients were helped (in just one year alone!). The work going on at 1000 Hills is just amazing. They have a Baby Wellness clinic once a week, and it's a happy day for the Centre; their volunteer sister Faith Mulligan puts a lot of time in to see that the babies are well taken care of. In April they almost had to deliver a 6 month premature baby, but managed to get mum to hospital in time and she safely had a beautiful baby boy. Because of the clinic at 1000 Hills, mum and baby are safe! This is just one story out of over 25,000 - we know the centre helps people, changes lives, saves lives and has a massive impact on the community. 

You, as supporters and donors make this possible! The majority of our funding comes from regular givers donating from £1 a month, and because of this we're able to continue to support amazing projects such as 1000 Hills.  

Why we do what we do

Why we do what we do

On Friday 1000 Hills Community Helpers helped a gogo (granny), who came to them for help. She was 73 years old but looking after her orphaned grandchildren of 4 and 7 years old, and one 8 month old. She visited the centre for help as she could only feed the baby with flour and water. This is a heartbreaking tale which unfortunately is not a rare occurence. We are very grateful that 1000 Hills Community Helpers were there to help this lady, otherwise she and her grandchildren would be in a much worse situation. This is why GAGA continue to fund this organisation, and are grateful to all our supporters and donors including our regular givers and business supporters. 
We can't stop supporting people, projects are organisations, like 1000 Hills, until we overcome the injustices of poverty that are seen on a daily basis. We can't stop and we won't stop. 

Update from 1000 Hills

Update from 1000 Hills

GAGA UK support 1000 Hills Community Helpers, providing funding for their clinic which is an essential service in the community. There is a primary clinic running 5 days a week, and a Sister and Doctor available in case of emergencies during evenings and weekends. Mondays and Wednesdays are clinic days for the elderly, Tuesdays are for children and Thursdays is open clinic day. On Fridays there are HIV/AIDS support groups. During the past 2 months, over 19000 patients were seen at the clinic. Almost 70 people underwent rapid HIV testing and over 1500 people had CD4 Count Tests. 1000 Hills Community Helpers Clinic is really changing lives. We are thankful for the hard work that they carry out, and without your support we would not be able to contribute the levels of assistance to them that we do. 

A life line - CD4 Count testing 1000 HCH

A life line - CD4 Count testing 1000 HCH

The 1000 HCH currently offers Primary Health Care services to local communities with a combined population of 31,000 people. The HIV/AIDS infection rates in the rural communities of KwaZulu Natal are amongst the highest in South Africa, resulting in high death and disability rates, and leaving many families and households without caregivers or a source of income. Although 1000 HCH does not distribute antiretroviral (ARV) medication, they have an HIV/AIDS Support Group with 500 members, and they work with these and other community members to assist them in managing their health and living with their disease. The group is concerned about the high number of HIV/AIDS-related deaths in their community, and they attribute these to the delays which take place between a first diagnosis and receiving treatment.

Treatment with ARV medication is available through government health care services, but members of the community need a referral from the local clinic after their CD4 count has been tested. Treatment cannot be received without a referral - there are often delays with the CD4 count results and some never receive their results. Members of the community whose CD4 count is not low enough to qualify them to access ARV medication need to be tested periodically to ensure that when their CD4 count has declined they are referred for treatment. The delay in getting the results often means that the patient’s immune system becomes too badly weakened to respond to treatment and they develop opportunistic diseases which spread very quickly and can often mean death or prolonged bouts of illness.

1000 HCH works together with Hillcrest AIDS Centre to provide a site for testing for HIV/AIDS for clinic patients as well as other members of the community. GAGA has agreed to fund the expansion of this service to include CD4 count testing. This will be of great benefit to the HIV/AIDS Support Group members as well as others in the community. The tests can now be carried out in 1000 HCH, sent to their laboratory, with the results being delivered directly to 1000 HCH. This will, without a doubt, save lives - all for less than £6 per test. 

Safe House Opens

Safe House Opens

In partnership with 1000 Hills Community Helpers, GAGA has funded the opening of a much needed Safe House for victims of abuse and sexual assault. All too often the victims of such act are women and children. Sadly, they are usually subjected to such brutality at the hands of loved ones, family members and or neighbours. This presents the added dilemma that usually those who have been abused or even raped live with, or within close proximity to their attackers.  The scale of the problem is huge. In 2006 a woman was raped in South Africa every 17 seconds. This figure did not include the number of child-rape victims. Around 200,000 children a year are raped in South Africa and less than 1% of rapes end in a successful prosecution. Social workers are overworked and the police can’t cope, even the ones who care!

All too often women and children were coming to the centre at 1000 Hills Community Helpers and although they were cared for there, at the end of the day they have to go back home all to often were the incidents take place. This was also a huge dilemma for the staff at 1000 HCH.

However, thanks to GAGA and its donors, the House has now been open for just over a month and was filled within 24 hours. The actual property was donated by the local councillor. GAGA with it’s donors has funded the fencing of the property as well as furnishing the house. 1000 Hills Community Helpers is in the process of establishing a programme to ensure each case is dealt with, and those affected by such treatment are properly cared for. This will be funded by GAGA, as often there is a need for transport and legal costs etc.

We hope to report in the near future on the successes of the Safe House. 

1000 Hills Community Helpers – Safe House Motivation

Safe House Pictures

Nipping the problem in the bud,

Nipping the problem in the bud,

GAGA is extremely proud to have just funded further training for 12 Home-based health care workers. Who will be working in the community around 1000 Hills Community Helpers.

It is estimated that the population of the area is 26,000 and each health care worker has 25 households in which each can have 10 – 15 people living in them. Being a health care worker is an extremely dynamic job dealing with many different aspects of family’s lives, poverty, disease and general health care. For many these ladies are their only life line, and they have an instrumental role to play in their communities. The funding for the training was awarded by a long-time donor and we are very grateful, as are 1000 Hills Community Helpers.  

1000 Hills Community Helpers - Documentary

1000 Hills Community Helpers - Documentary

1000 Hills Community Helpers have had a short documentary filmed about them by a well respected news programme in South Africa - Carte Blanche. Please follow this link to watch the video.

Citadel Re-insurance sponsors Free Clinic

Citadel Re-insurance sponsors Free Clinic

Citadel has made a timely and significant donation to help support 1000 Hills Community Helpers Free Clinic. Currently the clinic treats 300 + people a day, and many subsidiary projects work from the centre as well, including  Community Health Workers (CHW’s) who are the centre’s outreach staff and act as a life line between the community and the centre/free clinic. The clinic has seen the need to continue because of the rise in those needing help but due to the strain was possibly having to review its opening hours and days. However now thanks to Citadel & GAGA they no longer have to.

New Minibus for 1000 Hills

New Minibus for 1000 Hills

We’ve done it. Thanks to all our supporters, and wonderful fundraisers, we achieved our target and have purchased the 1000 Hills Community Helper’s new Minibus. In total we raised over £20,000.

When we visited Dawn in the Summer of 2010 a Minibus was top of her wish list, so that she could get the children who attended pre-school to and from school safely, and also help with the transportation of the sick and elderly. Dawn, being Dawn, drives the children home herself at night and was overjoyed when the Minibus was finally delivered in January 2011.

GAGA is extremely satisfied as, from the start, we told Dawn that the fundraising must be a joint effort and Dawn certainly responded. In total she raised R30,000 which is no mean feat in South Africa. GAGA felt it was important, and in keeping with our strategy of sustainability, that the fundraising be a joint effort. Another caveat to funding the Minibus was that the VAT which charities can reclaim in South Africa would be held in trust, so the Board of GAGA could decide what to apply it to.

Again this is another dimension to working together and the accountability of projects that we work with. We are delighted as we didn't just give 1000 Hills Community Helper’s a Minibus we made steps forward in joint ventures with ourselves and one of our African projects. There are more photos of the Minibus, in 1000 Hills Community Helper’s gallery.

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