Lulisandla Kumntwana started working in June 2002. Currently 20 staff and many volunteers cover an area of about 30 kms wide and 125 kms long, with a population of about 95,000. 5393 orphans have been identified by the program and, so far, 3467 of them are receiving care.
The foundation of the project is the network of Family Support Teams. 56 teams with about 350 volunteers visit orphan families on a regular basis and offer practical, social, emotional and spiritual help.
The program is a registered fostering agency, which means that children are assisted to access birth and death documents and IDs of them and their parents; foster parents are screened, home situations investigated, and cases taken to the Children’s Court; children are placed in supervised foster care and then assisted to apply for the foster child grant.
Amongst many other monthly activities, the program offers psycho-social support workshops which help orphans to deal with the emotional trauma of losing their parents and also give life skills training. Foster parents’ workshops also take place including the memory box project with the orphans and a support group for HIV+ teens.
Pastoral coordinators counsel individuals and families, help staff and volunteers to develop their spiritual ministry and assist with workshops.
The program works closely with the local schools to further care for the needs of the orphans as well as identifying new orphans. 21 After School Clubs offer orphans help with homework, games and crafts and life skills. Career Days in high schools are facilitated and five youth clubs run a weekly program for youth hosting inter-club competitions and coordinated outings. Some clubs have started income generating projects.
The program assists churches, schools and others who work with children and youth to reach those in their community, building a bridge between young and old. Reaching out to the whole child assists their physical, social, intellectual, spiritual and emotional development. Teenagers are furthermore mentored in behaviour change by engaging them in HIV and AIDS information sharing. SIM assists its partner churches and organizations to implement the program into their current and new children and youth ministries.