SHEPHERD'S KEEP
HOMES FOR ABANDONED HIV/AIDS BABIES
P O Box 21054, Marlborough Park, Bluff, Durban,
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 4052
Tel:  +27 31 4666106
info@shepherdskeep.org.za
www.shepherdskeep.org.za

A. Organisational Information

Registered Name of Organisation:                         

Shepherd's Keep

Registration Numbers:                                              

Section 21 Company - Reg. no. 2001/001302/08

Section 18(A) - Reg. no. 18/11/13/856

Non-Profit Organisation - Reg. no. 005-405 NPO

Postal Address:                               Street Address:                    

P O Box 21054                                   1195 Bluff Road, Marlborough Park

Bluff                                                  Bluff

4036                                                  4052

 DURBAN  KWA-ZULU NATAL-SOUTH AFRICA                                                                                                                                              

Contact No's:                                  Contact persons:

Tel:    031-466 6106                         Colin Pratley - Director

Fax:   031-466 6106                         Michelle Potgieter - Administrator

Cell:  083 651 2098                          Cheryl Pratley - Matron

E-mail Address:                              Website Address:                

info@shepherdskeep.org.za              www.shepherdskeep.org.za

Auditors:                                        

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Banking Details:

ABSA Cheque Account

Account Holder:   Shepherd's Keep 

Branch Code:        63-13-2600

Account No.:         405 324 8415

 

B.  Project History and Services

Shepherd's Keep is situated on the Bluff, KwaZulu-Natal in sub-Saharan Africa where the highest incidence of HIV/AIDS is found (see our Statement of Need).  The facility is registered as a Section 21 Company and runs with a board of 7 members. 

The aims of Shepherd's Keep have never changed and our determination to achieve our objectives has not waivered since inception. Shepherd's Keep first opened its doors as a registered facility for 20 babies in 1998 after Cheryl Pratley had been a Crisis Care Parent for a few years and has seen the changing face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic firsthand.  As the HIV infection rate increased, so did the number of abandoned babies, and eventually the number of AIDS orphans.   

As the orphaned/abandoned number of babies increased so the need for a larger facility became more urgent.  A property was sourced and a new facility for 60 babies is almost complete.  Incorporated within the new facility are 10 nurseries, each with a capacity for 6 babies, a milk room, laundry and chapel cum training centre.  The new building incorporates light and air to create a feeling of wellbeing and cheerfulness.


B.1  Shepherd's Keep Operational Mandate

Shepherd's Keep is run on certain values and principles which will never change - namely:

         Unconditional love for abandoned babies

         Integrity within organisation's operation

         Excellence of care and dedication of staff

         Commitment to continued upliftment of abandoned babies and community

Co-Founder and Director, Cheryl Pratley runs the operational division of the babies' home, and ensures that staff members are thoroughly trained to care for babies from birth to 6 months old.  She also liaises with the adoption attorneys/adoptive parents and social welfare agents concerning investigations into the backgrounds and futures of each baby.  The administration of the facility is conducted by Colin Pratley and Michelle Potgieter (financial statements etc) with regular board meetings according to Section 21 governance procedures.  Our Financial Statements are audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Founders and Staff of Shepherd's Keep will at all times ensure that the results of our efforts are consistent with our mission statement and uniqueness.

B.2. Primary Activities of Shepherd's Keep

        Caring for Abandoned/orphaned babies

        Training, counselling and support

        Hands of Mercy

B.2.1.    Caring for abandoned/orphaned babies

         Shelter

         Care

         Restoration

          Adoption

        Shelter

o        Shepherd's Keep is a transitional place of care, open 24 hours a day, for babies from birth to six months old whether HIV positive or not.

        Care

o        Shepherd's Keep is not an institution and therefore does not operate as such.  Loving care is provided for 60 babies from birth to six months, encouraging adoption and a stable lifestyle.

o        Individual feeding and medical plans are tailored for each babies' needs.

o        A registered nurse is on duty 24 hours a day

         Restoration

o        Training of staff ensures that a baby receives surrogate mothering, enabling the baby to bond and respond to love.  Incredible feelings of rejection and loss through being abandoned/orphaned are addressed through an abundance of human contact.  Volunteers and staff are encouraged to hold babies and interact with them, providing reassurance and comfort.  The elderly folk in our community are very involved in Shepherd's Keep and our new building is wheelchair friendly, making it easily accessible for all ages.

         Adoption

o        The culmination of a process that begins the day a baby arrives at Shepherd's Keep.  Careful consultation with the social worker ensures that all babies are placed in suitable families. 

o        Adoptive parents are invited to share in the caring of babies, ensuring that bonding has taken place before adoption.

o        International adoptions are only entertained when local adoptive parents cannot be sourced.

B.2.2.    Training, counselling and support

         Training

o        Training remains one of the most important facets of Shepherd's Keep.   Not only does it ensure that Shepherd's Keep runs smoothly and to exacting standards, but it improves the morale of staff who are equipped to deliver the service expectations.  Community development is ensured by staff who are empowered through training.

o        Hands of Mercy caregivers undergo training through Shepherd's Keep and will receive practical training through our program.

o        Outside trainers are invited to supplement the Shepherd's Keep training program.

         Counselling

o        Counselling is available to AIDS infected/affected persons who require it.

o        A support group is run on Thursday mornings by Cheryl Pratley at Shepherd's Keep.

         Support

o        Shepherd's Keep provides very necessary support to the SAPS/Child Protection Unit through being open and accessible 24 hours a day and this will continue when the new building opens.  The Bluff community and beyond recognize Shepherd's Keep's uniqueness and success in the HIV/AIDS arena.

B.2.3.    Hands of Mercy

o        Shepherd's Keep, through Hands of Mercy, provides infection control supplies i.e. gloves, plastic aprons, linen savers and dry foods when available to those who are HIV/AIDS infected and require them.   Shepherd's Keep is committed to improving the quality of life of those who are victims of the HIV virus

B.3.       Networking

o        Shepherd's Keep networks with many organizations including welfare organizations and other childrens'/ babies' homes (none of whom are open 24 hours).  One of the greatest needs for police is to have somewhere to take abandoned babies in the middle of the night - sometimes a baby is left to die because of a lack of ready shelter.

C. Statement of Need

C.1. Target Group  -  Abandoned/orphaned babies

"According to the Provincial Head of Child Welfare, Saras Desai, the organisation deals with 2000 babies a month that have either been orphaned or abandoned.... newspapers have likened the dustbins in Durban to the graveyards of newborn babies and foetuses" - Carte Blanche, 6 July 2003.

"community members found a pack of dogs eating a new-born baby girl in bushes near the roadside.....Inspector Michael Read said residents of the location (Ntuzuma) found torn up parts of the baby being mauled by dogs.  The head was missing and only the torso, hands and legs were found."......"We are appealing to mothers to go to clinics in their areas or come to nearby police stations where they will be shown the right channels to go through when giving away their babies." - Daily News Monday, August 11, 2003.

o        36.5% of pregnant women in KwaZulu-Natal are HIV positive, an increase of 3% in one year.

Year

90

91

92

93

94

95

96

97

98

99

00

01

02

KZN

1.61

2.87

4.77

9.62

14.35

18.23

19.9

26.92

32.5

32.5

36.5

33.48

36.5

NAT.

0.7

1.7

2.2

4

7.6

10.4

14.2

17

22.8

22.4

24.5

24.8

26.5

 HIV/AIDS PREVALENCE IN ANTENATAL CLINICS (%) - KZN AND NATIONAL STATISTICS

    HIV/AIDS PREVALENCE IN ANTENATAL CLINICS (%) - DISTRIBUTION BY PROVINCE

Year

GP

FS

MP

NW

EC

LP

NC

WC

KZN

2001

28.8

30.1

29.2

25.2

21.7

14.5

15.9

8.6

33.48

2002

31.6

28.8

28.6

26.2

23.6

15.6

15.1

12.4

36.5

        VOLUNTARY TESTING - DISTRIBUTION OF POSITIVE RESULT IN FEMALES BY AGE (%)

Age Group

% tested positive

15-19

35%

20-24

55%

25-29

63%

30-34

54%

35-39

48%

40-49

36%

Reports in the media tell a grim tale of pregnant women who are HIV positive becoming immune to Nevirapine - the drug has lost its effectiveness which further increases the risk of MTC (mother-to-child-transmission).  Once again training and counselling seem to be the answer in prevention of transmission.  Circumstances very often lead to babies being abandoned and orphaned, left to die if not found in time.  A child care grant available from the Government for caregivers is currently an incentive for many not to abandon, although grants are also an avenue for corruption when unscrupulous community members prevent desperate mothers from seeking outside help, preferring to collect the foster grants themselves.  Also, many haven't the funds to apply for a birth certificate or an identity document and a grant cannot be awarded without them.  This leads to complete desperation and makes it easier for mothers to abandon their babies - especially if they know the baby is HIV positive with higher cost implications.

The majority of these babies are not HIV positive and future leaders of the nation.  A nation needs to be built on a strong foundation, good family values and community ethics - all qualities found in a strong family unit.  Babies who are adopted into loving families are given this chance.

Shepherd's Keep fulfils the role of a hospice for the babies who are not as fortunate and are infected with the virus.  With the emphasis on palliative care of the highest standard, we ensure that no baby will ever leave this world without us having done everything in our power to make the journey less frightening and painful.

Early Child Development

Shepherd's Keep employs early child development skills to ensure the complete and timely development of all the babies in their care and to prevent any baby not developing to their full potential.  A registered nurse specifically trained in pediatrics will assess and plot milestones for each baby and develop relevant stimulation programs.  Staff will be trained to note and report areas of concern and in this way are themselves empowered with knowledge beyond the scope of caregiver alone.

C.2. Target Group  -  AIDS infected patients in rural areas

NATIONAL AIDS DISTRIBUTION STATISTICS FROM 2000 TO 2002

Age Group

2000

2001

2002

15-19

16.1%

22.7%

18.5%

20-24

29.1%

39.3%

43.3%

25-29

30.6%

42.6%

46.6%

30-34

23.3%

36.5%

38.6%

35-39

15.8%

23%

25.2%

40-44

10.2%

10%

25%

o        46.6% of the 25-29 age group are HIV positive nationwide, an increase of 16% since the year 2000.

o        The only age group showing a decline is the 15-19 year olds - proof that education and training are of paramount importance.

The figures above tell an alarming tale.  Excluding factors such as the window period, where a false positive test result is possible and voluntary testing, the table clearly shows an increase in the infection rate.   Hopefully, this is because of a greater number of voluntary tests and not a genuine increase in infection rates.

Hands of Mercy is a Shepherd's Keep Development Initiative Program aimed at supplying urgent infection control materials to rural areas.  Training for caregivers is available through Shepherd's Keep, both in caregiving and the correct application of infection control supplies.  When available, nutrient rich dry foods are supplied to boost immune systems.

Shepherd's Keep plays a tremendous role in not only training staff members, but the general community.  We are committed to reducing the infection rate in our community first, believing that everything we do impacts our community.  Visitors are curious and answered frankly on HIV/AIDS issues.  Our Support Group is open to anyone in the community infected or affected by the virus.  Schools in our community are actively involved in Shepherd's Keep, able to learn from and be included in the war against HIV/AIDS.  Shepherd's Keep is available to do HIV/AIDS presentations at local schools and we are geared towards building lasting relationships within the youth community.

D. Implementation of Project

The aims of Shepherd's Keep have not changed since inception and will continue to be the core of our operation.

The aims of Shepherd's Keep are:

         To provide abandoned babies, whether HIV positive or not, with nourishment, care and adoptive families.

         To stamp out the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.

         To enable those who are terminally ill with AIDS related illnesses to receive adequate care and nourishment through Hands of Mercy.

The objectives of Shepherd's Keep are:

         To open of the new facility for 60 abandoned HIV/AIDS infected babies.

         To provide continuous 24 hour care for abandoned/orphaned babies from birth to six months old.

         To provide individual, holistic medical/nutritional plans for each baby, continuously updated and improved.

         To provide a warm and loving hospice for terminally ill babies with up to date palliative care techniques employed in our High-care nursery.

         To continue with the high adoption/foster rate we have achieved.

         To increasingly impact the HIV/AIDS infection rate through training and education and the quality of life of HIV/AIDS infected persons.

Outlay of the new facility:

         Wheelchair friendly building

         Ten nurseries, incorporating a high care centre and isolation nursery

         Sterile milk room

         Laundry

         Training centre cum chapel

Operational mandate:

         Ratio of 1 caregiver : 2 babies  (1 additional volunteer where possible).

         Registered Sister on duty 24 hours.

         Registered and accredited Private Social Workers

         Local doctors to support our operation.