Cotlands is a long-serving South African 'non-profit' agency that continues to meet the ever-changing needs of children impacted by HIV/AIDS in our country.
South Africa has been identified as the country with the greatest number of HIV/AIDS-infected people in the world. Recent reports reveal that more than five million South Africans are currently living with the impact of HIV/AIDS, while some of Cotlands’ programme focus areas (e.g. Cotlands' Hlabisa Home Base Care project) have estimated infection rates of more than 40% of the total population.
While this information is not new, the impact of these figures is becoming clearer to our communities, our government and the global community in which we live.
'AIDS orphans' (children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS related death of their parents), 'child-headed households' (homes managed by elder siblings often as young as 11) and similar terms are now commonplace in South Africa, yet support for these individuals is still lagging behind growing awareness of the challenges we face.
Founded in 1936, Cotlands was originally established as a care centre for unwed mothers and their infants, but in the last decade the organisation has evolved into a shelter for abused, abandoned and HIV-positive terminally ill children from birth to nine years of age.
With headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, our responsibility has changed in response to the needs of our society and has increased in both the quality and quantity of services we provide.
In the early 90's, Cotlands identified the increasing need to care for children directly impacted by HIV/AIDS, including the development of a paediatric AIDS hospice, the first of its kind in South Africa (1996), offering specialised paediatric palliative care 24 hours a day.
Currently operating in six provinces in South Africa, Cotlands provides a range of services to more than 8, 000 beneficiaries nationally.
Our services include:
· Residential Care
· Home-based Care
· Homework Support
· Early Childhood Development Centres
· Active Learning Libraries
· Training with MKI
Cotlands is committed to aligning our programmes as closely as possible with government and global objectives for the welfare and protection of children and our response has been to focus our intervention programmes on health, social and emotional well-being, poverty alleviation and nutrition. We have also added education as a critical component, because we believe education is a basic human right and provides the foundation for children’s lifelong learning and work opportunities. These factors in turn determine the earning potential of the child once he/she reaches adulthood.
Today Cotlands offers a variety of residential and community-based programmes to meet the needs of vulnerable children. All our projects offer holistic care to children and comprise several components that are aimed at empowering the clients, including medical, physical, psychosocial, education and emotional care, as well as antiretroviral (ART) programmes.