Bangwe HIV/Aids Self-Help Initiative (BAHASI) is registered incorporated as a charitable organization under the Trustees Incorporation Act in 2016 and also registered under CONGOMA; (BAHASI) was established in 2004 as a community-based organization (CBO).
Our main objective is to improve the welfare of vulnerable groups affected and infected by HIV / AIDS by operating an under five pre-school, carrying out community home based care (CHBC), encouraging youth participation in social activities and preventing environmental degradation.
- In 2007 the organization was registered as a Community Based organization (CBO) with the Blantyre City Assembly and the Blantyre District Social Welfare office.
- In 2010 BAHASI became a member of the Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi (WESM).
- In 2016 the organization was registered incorporated as a charitable organization under the Trustees Incorporation Act.
BAHASI has a board of four trustees: Reena Purshotam, Jim. Jimusole, Donatta Kamwendo and H Mpenga. The trustees normally make a minimum monthly contribution of K50,000 from their own funds towards BAHASI’s expenses.
BAHASI also has members consisting of volunteers from the community. Membership of BAHASI is open to all; although members are encouraged to make monthly contributions of K20,000 they are rarely able to do so. Trustees and members are free to contribute more than the monthly membership fee. Some members and trustees are unable to contribute the membership fee regularly due to their personal financial difficulties.
The organization operates in Bangwe Township WisikiVillage,T/A Machinjiri, Blantyre, about 150m to the left after Bangwe Day Secondary School, Robert Mugabe Highway.
To have empowered citizens who will be productive, self-sufficient and development oriented.
- To improve the welfare of orphans and other vulnerable groups who have been affected or infected with HIV and AIDS.
- To care for and to provide treatment and other support to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) as well as the elderly.
BAHASI provides assistance to the Communities through the following:
THE ORPHANED AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN (OVC) DEPARTMENT.
The main responsibility of this department is to look after the welfare of orphaned and vulnerable children within the organisation’s catchment area. The department is therefore running a pre-school programme and a feeding programme for the children.
- We offer free education to 103 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) under the age of six at our childcare centre. We provide the OVCs with two meals (breakfast and lunch) each day.
- We care for 31 OVCs between the ages of day old and 18 years by providing them with 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) as well as accommodation. These children have been referred to BAHASI by the Blantyre Social Welfare Office and Bangwe Police either because they are missing children whose families cannot be traced or because they suffer abuse in their homes. The placement with BAHASI is temporary and these children will remain with us until permanent homes are found for them. We expect this to be a continuing programme and as some children are placed in permanent homes, more children will be placed with BAHASI.
- We offer psycho-social support to the community.
THE HOME-BASED CARE (HBC) DEPARTMENT
- We care for chronically ill patients by providing them with food and counseling.
- We offer counselling to members of the community affected and infected with HIV/ AIDS.
- We clean the surroundings of our home-based care patients and provided them with water for their personal sanitation. We also help to bathe patients who are too ill to bathe themselves.
- We teach patients and guardians how to provide psycho-social support for orphans and children with disabilities.
- We refer patients to the hospital for specialist attention when patients’ health deteriorates.
THE SUPPORT GROUP
The Support Group consists of HIV positive men and women. This Group is very important because it gives people living with HIV and AIDS an opportunity to come together to share common problems. Only registered members of the Support Group are eligible to participate in these meetings. The Group currently has 32 registered members who are all on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART)
- We conduct training on best ways of preparing nutritious food.
- Members of the group received training on ribbon making with beads.
- We opened a tailoring training school at BAHASI for those who are living positively, to enable them to start their own businesses. The school is currently not operating due to lack of materials; however, we have two sewing machines.
- This group encourages people living with HIV and AIDS to join it so that people are empowered socially, economically and spiritually.
THE INCOME GENERATING ACTIVITIES (I.G.A.) DEPARTMENT
BAHASI has a department that oversees all income generating activities for the organization with the aim of sustaining its programs. The department currently runs a poultry project. The poultry project assists to fund some of BAHASI’s activities. Unfortunately, it is too small to fund all of BAHASI’s activities and we currently still rely on donations from well- wishers.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL DEPARTMENT
- We sensitize people on global climate change.
- We sensitize the Community on environmental degradation and provide training on how to conserve the environment.
- We plant trees and shrubs in our catchment area.
- We prepare vegetable gardens.
YOUTH ACTIVITIES AND SPORTS DEPARTMENT
We encourage youth to have a reading culture. We also offer indoor and outdoor games to prevent young people from engaging in dangerous activities such as drinking beer, smoking and unprotected sexual activities.
So far BAHASI has formed under 16 and 19 football and netball teams with an aim of keeping the youth busy.
- We encourage youth behavioural change by increasing their participation in sporting activities. This encourages HIV/AIDS prevention.
- We conduct motivational talks to youth.
- We are also planning to have indoor games like: Bawo, draft and chess to be played at BAHASI premises.
- Our goal is to make sure that our youth have a bright future and are an HIV/ AIDS free generation.
- We call for public meetings in order to disseminate HIV / AIDS information.
- We encourage people to go for VCT and to know their HIV status.
- We teach people about the need to care for the sick, the elderly, orphans and vulnerable children.