Brits-Hartbeespoort Hospice Partnership
Partnership with Brits-Hartbeespoort Hospice
In November 2003, Hospice of the Chesapeake began the partnership with its sister hospice in Sub-Saharan Africa, Brits-Hartbeespoort Hospice. Through the twinning organization Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa, Inc. (FHSSA), Hospice of the Chesapeake became the first hospice in the Mid-Atlantic to partner with a hospice in Sub-Saharan Africa. FHSSA is an affiliate of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). FHSSA increases public awareness of the AIDS pandemic in South Africa and sponsors people-to-people and program-to-program professional exchanges. In the region of Brits-Hartbeespoort Hospice, there are an estimated 4.3 million people needing AIDS home-based care and it is predicted that by the year 2010 there will be 20 million orphans.
Currently, Hospice of the Chesapeake has raised more than $20,000 for Brits Hospice through the sale of bracelets, World AIDS Day awareness events and other initiatives. The money has been used to buy monthly food parcels for the neediest patients and their families since March of 2006 in Damonsville, a small village of approximately 1,000 homes with at least six people per house and 65 square feet in size. Surrounding this village is an informal settlement of 3,000 people living in shacks.
In May 2008, the Damonsville Clinic opened its doors and is the care center for many patients and their families needing weekly attention and support. The people of the village and surrounding settlement walk to the Clinic where the hospice nurse, or sister as they are called in South Africa, assesses their health needs, provides them with a meal, and welcomes them to a support group.