In August, South Africa celebrates 2016 Women's Month, the annual commemoration that celebrates more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. This month also celebrates women's achievements—socially, economically, culturally, and politically.
Humana People to People South Africa would like to celebrate in this month, women who are making a difference in the communities we are working. Women have played an integral role in the development of Humana People to People South Africa since its humble beginnings in 1995. One such woman is Lindiwe Alice Mathebula.
Lindiwe Alice Mathebula was born in 1990 in Bethal, a small town in Mpumalanga. Raised by her single mother who did piece jobs as a domestic worker, Lindiwe learnt that women have a backbone made of steel and a heart of gold. After matriculating at A.D Nkosi FET School in 2008 she faced a challenge that many young women face of being unable to advance to tertiary education due to lack of funds.
"I couldn't go to a university due to lack of money, instead I went to a college where I learnt about computer basics. In 2010 I fell pregnant gave birth to a beautiful daughter on 21 December 2010. In the following year 2011 April my dearest mom passed away it was the hardest year ever."
In 2014 she saw a poster on the wall advertising a vacancy for Field Officers who can work in the community doing Home-Based HIV Testing Services.
"Well I wanted the opportunity to play my part in the fight against HIV which is a big problem in our community. I became a Field Officer in 2015 and started with training where I got my HIV testing certificates."
"I worked as a Field Officer doing Home-Based HIV Testing at Emzinoni in Bethal. It was an opportunity of a life time some called me Doctor and I was a Nurse to others. People believed in me, some could confide in me with their status. I also learnt a lot about HIV and the myths I used to have vanished. Most of my clients would thank me and say if it wasn't for the work I was doing they wouldn't have known their HIV status. Those who are HIV positive I made sure that they are linked to care and treatment."
"I want to see myself as a young woman who climbs the ladder of being a Role model to young girls in my community, I want them to know that it doesn't matter who you are you can make a difference. My message to women out there is that, the number one reason why people give up so fast is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go instead of how far they have gotten."
Humana People to People South Africa salutes all the women that are standing up to fight against all the challenges that are faced by mankind today. We take this juncture as a campaign encouraging all individuals to take concrete steps to help accelerate gender balance in society.