LifeWise HIV Training is Now Offered in Zulu

It isn’t every day that a sangoma visits the Seed of Hope. Sangomas, or Zulu traditional healers, are the keepers of traditional belief in ancestral spirits. Their services are often called upon to fix everything from bad luck, disease, to curses cast by other sangomas. They are held in a mixture of reverence and fear by many people in Bhekulwandle, and most Christians avoid any contact with them. Imagine the surprise of our Seed of Hope team when two sangomas recently attended our first HIV training workshop offered in Zulu!

This workshop marks the fulfillment of a vision which began two years ago with the development of LifeWise, a course designed by Seed of Hope staff to break down stigma and address HIV in a more direct, honest and personal way than most AIDS training. Over time, our local health team members Zama, Buli and Jabu began to take on greater roles in the training sessions as they gradually overcame their initial fears of public speaking. Although it was an effective course, it was mostly delivered in English.

This year, the team felt it was time to launch a course for Zulu-speaking Bhekulwandle residents. For two months, they tirelessly translated lessons, designed the program, and prepared their presentations on HIV, treatment, tuberculosis and overall health.

In October, the Seed of Hope offered its first two-day LifeWise workshop delivered entirely in Zulu. Eighteen adults from Bhekulwandle attended.

Thanks to generous support from people like you, local community members are being empowered to make positive changes in their township.