Our education focus is defined by the ”Cradle to College” strategy where our vision is to restore education and leadership excellence in the Eastern Cape, by implementing programmes along the Basic Education Continuum. Working with partners we support eight under-resourced Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres in the Duncan Village area of East London. Working with nine primary schools, we support Open Books Open Minds (OBOM), a programme designed to support teachers in foundational and intermediate phase literacy strategies with the aim of improving literacy in primary schools. Supported by the DG Murray Trust we are implementing a school retention programme: Check and Connect. Currently running in six schools, Check and Connect works with teachers, parents and learners through the services of a dedicated mentor to reduce school dropout by actively monitoring signs of school disengagement. Through the Ma’am Sepeilo Maqubela Bursary Trust, we support high school learners that are enrolled in four Eastern Cape legacy schools: i.e., Nyanga, Mariazelle, Healdtown and St Johns. These bursaries are awarded to learners who excel in Mathematics and Science and who come from economically disadvantaged homes. With Bumb’Ingomso, Masibumbane received support from the DG Murray Trust to implement a programme providing Psychosocial Support in two Technical, Vocational Education and Training Colleges in the Buffalo City Metro Municipality that is targeted at first year students. The aim of the programme is to identify those students who are lagging behind in their studies, prevent them from dropping out and support the successful completion of their first year.
Our Health focus is geared towards an AIDS free generation and targeted at empowering People Living with HIV/AIDS through education, information and psychosocial support. In 2013, we led a province wide implementation of the Integrated Access to Care and Treatment (IACT) programme which was applied in partnership with the provincial and district departments of health. This support group intervention empowered People Living with HIV to be better advocates of their own health; IACT was implemented in health facility and community settings where it was adopted by community based organisations and non-governmental organisations working in health. In 2015,MDO took on the lead role in implementing LinkCARE, a 5 year, PEPFAR funded, technical assistance and support programme in the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape. Through this programme, MDO worked closely with the provincial departments of health, Regional Training Centre / Human Resource Development units and district management teams in PEPFAR priority districts in the two provinces ensuring that People Living with HIV and AIDS are linked to care and adhere to their treatment plans. To date this programme has assisted the Department of Health to roll out its adherence guidelines (AGL) in the respective provinces and prepared the ground for the implementation of the Universal Test and Treat policy in health facilities.
As we look to the future, we will continue to apply ourselves to community led initiatives where we can integrate education, health and economic development. We are champions of this holistic approach to social development.