Newsletter – January 2016
By: aafadmin
Jan 15, 2016

Welome to the AAF News January 2016

Chairman’s Report 2015

imgp0756_200 2015 has been a little difficult in that a number of the most active people working in AAF have had health issues. Nevertheless the obvious needs of the African people have stimulated our supporters to maintain the work and we have achieved many goals, as reported in our 2015 Newsletters.

The HIV pandemic is in a more mature stage and although there are still significant numbers of new infections and still far too manypeople dying, much of our work is now related to caring for those on ARV treatment and young people affected by the loss of parents and destruction of the social fabric caused by these deaths.

We have been inspired by the work being done in Africa as a result of our financial support – both in funding projects and providing emotional support and training for the African people with whom we work.

We thank all who have worked with us and have contributed to the work of AAF.

Every dollar we receive from the public goes to Africa. All our workers in Australia are volunteers and all travel expenses to and from Africa are paid for by the travellers themselves.

Thank you again to all that contribute funds or work with us as volunteers. I would encourage you to continue supporting this great work in 2016.

Dr John Schwarz

Christmas Sale 2015

christmas_sale_1_200A big thank you to all who contributed to the great success of our Christmas Sale at Schwarz Family Practice for AAF. It was hot, but we still had a very successful day. Our best effort yet, raising $1500!! – including money from the great Cafe set up by our lovely young helpers. Thank you Gray family, Isobel and Chris!

The winners of the lovely Quilt raffles were delighted to learn of their win today and thanks to everyone who supported this fundraiser, we made over $540.

Overall a great way to finish the year2015!

Value Based Life Skills Program (VBLS)

We have a great letter below from the leader of the VBLS, Isaac Vusumuzi Maphalala (Vusi). VBLS is the program AAF use that encourages, trains and inspires orphaned and vulnerable children and teenagers to recognise and fulfil their potential. Over the years that this program has been implemented we have seen encouraging progress and amazing impact on these young peoples’ lives.

We are in urgent need of continued funds to ensure the operation of this most valuable and effective program is continued.

If this month all our members and supporters were able to donate just a few dollars each , we would be able to target these funds directly into VBLS. What a difference this would make in the lives of these children and young people!

If you are able to donate to this very worthy cause…

Click here to make a donation online now.

(Please note that all donations are in Australian Dollars (AUD), and will be processed in Australia)


Greetings from Vusi

vusi_2I am Isaac Vusumuzi Maphalala and was born in Bergville KZN in 1970. My father died when I was still young. I grew up with my mother was the one who was doing all she could to help us to grow.

We grew up in Bergville, moved to Ladysmith and now we are staying in Pietermaritzburg in the location called The Grange. I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ in 1987, since then my life changed. We are all saved in my family. My wife is working for the Department of Social development in the provincial level as the personal assistant to one of the manangers. I worked in the department of education for 10 years from 1993 to 2003. I felt that I am called to develop people but not the way I was doing because in the school set up I could not do the development as I feel I was directed to do. I left the Department of Education for full time ministry.

I am married to BongiMaphalala we have three children one boy Velenkosini is 13 years and two girls Mawande is 8 years and Aphelele is 7 years. Velenkosini is doing grade 7 this year which is the last grade of the primary school. Mawande is doing grade 2 and Aphelele is doing grade 1.

In 2008 I was asked by Monika (Monika Holst, Director & Founder of Philakahle Wellbeing Centre) to come and assist them with the running of the youth camp. I was very happy to be part of those camps I felt fulfilled when I did the camps and developed young people. In 2009 that is where I formally worked for Philakahle in the youth project. I was new in the field of youth development, I did not know what will work or not work. The fact that our approach was from Christian perspective made things easy for me because I was a devoted Christian from 1987. We wanted to introduce Christ in the lives of young people who were orphans that Christ is the center of their lives.

From this approach other aspects of development unfolded like giving young people a chance to show case their talents. That chance we gave to young people to do something in front of the group helped them to open up because they were doing something they know and love. I say they open up because others were shy to communicate with other young people because of different reasons. Some were out of their home for the first time and have never used the shower. There were those who had never heard about Jesus and hearing the good words spoken to them because in their homes they are always scolded and only the negative words that are spoken to them. Leaders have been trained over the years, some of the young people who came to our programme did not have hope, have given up in life and were doing bad in school. But after they have come to our meetings they change the way they look in life they start to do well in the school. Those who are the tertiary now are doing very well from doing bad because of their situations at home and life general.

I have grown in my working with young people. From 2009 to 2015 there has been a huge change in the behavior and the challenges that the young people are facing. But the love I have for this work and my love for Jesus has helped me to value life and be able to know how to deal with young people in every generation.

We had a wonderful time with my family this year. It was very good because I do not get a lot of time to stay with them. I will be leaving them soon for work.

During the Christmas holidays 2015 is the good time I have for my family. I spent a lot of time out with my family. This year was much better because John and Rosalie (Dr Jonh & Rosalie Schwarz, founders of African AIDS Foundation) gave me some money to spoil my family. It made a huge difference during this time because i do not have this quality time with them. We visited our family which we do not usually see during the cause of the year. On the 31 of December to the 1st of January we spent time with my brothers. We had the service on the 31st and on the 1st of January we went to the park and spent time together as the family.

AAF has played a huge role in my life, I have grown and have learnt to be strong and stand my ground because of the support and the courage that AAF has been given to me.


Vusi and Family

Looking forward to the work we can achieve together in 2016.

Dr. John Schwarz

Chairman African AIDS Foundation Australia