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The Raphael Centre: Striving for Caring and Healthy Communities

By admin - Posted on 07 December 2014

One of our partner groups in South Africa, the Raphael Centre, now has a new and exciting website which we encourage you to take a look at. Its, and it gives a great insight into the work and the values of this great organisation which Soweto Connection is proud to support.

Situated in Grahamstown, the Raphael Centre is an HIV/AIDS-community initiative. It was begun by local volunteers in 1999 as a support group for about thirty adults. In September 2002, the Centre began offering voluntary counselling and rapid HIV testing, and offers these services on an immediate walk-in basis.

In the meantime, the Centre is a major player in local HIV prevention interventions. In the course of the years of their community work they came to learn that HIV-prevention needs to be more than HIV-testing & counselling and HIV-education and awareness campaigns: HIV-prevention interventions also require teaching about and encouraging for alternative options to health threatening behavior. As the website says, "these - as we came to know - are to be found in wellness: A happy and purposeful person is much less likely to involve herself/ himself into destructive or health threatening episodes. Wellness means the holistic condition of physical, spiritual, emotional, social realm of a person, but also the environmental, occupational and intellectual wellbeing.

In order to work towards wellness in their community, the Raphael Centre networks with a variety of excellent expert resources - mostly in Grahamstown but also reaching out to national and international working partners.

In the community, the Raphael Centre delivers a Wellness and Life Skills Programme which has three key components.

1. Wellness and Life Skills for children and youth

To encourage and assist our children and youth to develop into purposeful and responsible adults and citizens who contribute towards HIV-prevention and care for those living with HIV.

2. Asset Based Community-led Development training and facilitation

To unblock strengths and potentials to encourage healthy living and self-worth for youth and adults affected by and infected with HIV.

3. Community Wellness

To promote and facilitate health living and positive life choices for all community members especially vulnerable individuals and groups.


Soweto Connection raises funds in Ireland for South African community-based groups that are working with people affected by HIV/AIDS. The money collected makes urgent treatment available to HIV/AIDS patients, provides home-based care to sufferers, and assists in HIV/AIDS prevention services.

All donations are gratefully accepted, and all money goes directly to helping AIDs victims and their families.