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Raphael Centre in Urgent Need of Funding

By admin - Posted on 26 October 2012

Raphael Centre hand out food parcels

We have received an urgent request from Annalie van Niekerk who is the director of one our partner groups, the Raphael Centre in Grahamstown. They are in dire financial difficulty and as a result there is a serious danger that they will have to end the services they provide.

Annelie says

"For the past decade I have worked as the Director of the Raphael Centre in Grahamstown. I landed here because of a compelling conviction that the time had come to give something back in return for the many blessings of my life. I realized then, as I do now, that HIV and AIDS is a huge challenge (possibly the greatest ever faced) for our country and that if we do not come to grips with it, we stand to lose everything gained by our successful struggle for democracy. The Raphael Centre is now in danger of closing because of a critical lack of funding and I am stubbornly doing all I can to prevent this – every month we provide much needed services to more than 1000 people who rely on us. We cannot let them down."

We urgently ask you to make a special effort to support the 170 orphans and vulnerable children, and the 31 families who rely on the Raphael Centre for emergency nutrition because there is no breadwinner or because the breadwinner is too ill to work. They provide free testing and counseling to all comers and have a very successful prevention outreach programme where they take testing, counseling and prevention education into outlying townships and rural areas. They support 118 little children who are infected, or who come from families with HIV present, in pre-school by ensuring that they get at least one balanced cooked meal per day. They also strive to ensure that their developmental needs are met. 

The Raphael Centre also run a support group for HIV-affected teenagers, teaching them to cope with stigma and to succeed in life. They also have a support group for newly diagnosed adults where they equip them to have healthy independent lives. They do all of this in a community where the unemployment rate has been estimated at between 72% and 80%.

Many will die and suffer if the Raphael Centre are no longer around to provide a helping hand.

Please make a donation to Soweto Connection  so that we can help the Raphael centre to survive.


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.