The uMvoti Aids Centre was officialy opened in Greytown (in the uMvoti Municipality) on 28 October 2011, which is also Arbor Day (tree planting day). The Centre was founded in 2000 with the aim of assisting people who are infected with HIV/Aids and are suffering from health conditions caused by the virus. The Centre also aims at developing agriculture and encouraging people to plant trees in the area.
The Centre was opened by Sappi, a timber company. The company has played a major role in the Centre, also being the donor of the site where it is situated.
Located about 500 metres from the Greytown Hospital, the Centre daily takes care of 120 children. It also offers assistance and care to a further 3500 children and 7000 adults in the broader community.
Mr Philani Madi, the director of Sappi, as well as its managing director from head office in Gauteng, Mr Hendrick de Jong, attended the occasion. Mr de Jong expressed his excitement over the progress that the Umvoti Aids Centre has made in recent years.
He also appreciated the fact that so many members of the community were present to witness the official opening of the Centre.
Guests were entertained by the uMvoti Aids Centre’s choir and by a learner from Tholinhlanhla Primary School, who recited a poem (about a ‘Whoonga’ drug.) The children of Tholinhlanhla Primary School performed zulu dances.
The Centre was officially opened by Mr de Jong and the chairperson of the centre, JoAnne Dutton. As part of the event, Mr de Jong planted a tree.
Appreciation was expressed for Radio Khwezi’s coverage of the event.
Radio Khwezi participated in the KZN Environmental Empowerment & Sustainable Livelihoods Media Session, held in Durban from 23 to 25 September 2011. Being held during Heritage Month, the Session just preceded the much anticipated COP17 conference, which was to be held at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre.
The main objective of the Session, among others, was to enlighten the KZN media on issues relating to the environment, climate change and sustainable living, and thus empower them to, in turn, enlighten the public.