South Africa: Masangane AIDS Programme

AIDS destroys the livelihood of many South Africans and their families since those infected can find no jobs and children are left as orphans. The "Masangane" project brings back hope to AIDS sufferers and to the children affected.

Many South Africans infected with AIDS are unemployed and have been abandoned by their families. Their future is bleak – they are robbed of the possibility of living a normal life. Although the state provides them with vital antiretroviral medicines free of charge, the medication alone does not solve their problems. This is why the Moravian Church in South Africa (MCSA) started the AIDS programme "Masangane" where people infected with HIV receive all-round help in the form of advice and pastoral care. Masangane also assists these people to complete formalities with authorities as this helps them obtain the necessary medicine more easily.

Income by rearing chickens and tailoring

The aim of the Masangane project is to help children and adults lead a normal life again. The project supports men and women infected with HIV to earn a livelihood by providing them with hens and building materials to make chicken coops. The rearing and sale of chickens helps them earn their own income – for them this is a major step-forward. They can stand on their own feet again. It gives them courage and strengthens their self-confidence.

South Africa

56.5 million inhabitants, of which 7.2 million have HIV/AIDS

Education and food for AIDS orphans

It is a sad fact that AIDS turns many children into orphans – in South Africa there are roughly over a million of them. The Masangane project supports them with food and education and stands by them when they have problems. These girls and boys receive help to fill out the necessary forms to claim orphan’s allowances. Children of kindergarten age are looked after at all-day church kindergartens where they receive hot meals. For children of school age, the project takes over the cost of school fees and school uniforms. Masangane co-workers continually find children’s households where both parents have died from AIDS or cannot be traced. In cases such as these, the children receive additional support in the form of food, clothes or household necessities. The carers, who are mostly HIV positive themselves, also act as substitute mothers to the children. 

In order to reach as many female and male patients as possible, Masangane has many volunteers outside the four centres in the Eastern Cape – 20 of them were trained as home-based careworkers. They visit AIDS sufferers at home, report on progress of the disease and are quick to recognise when a doctor is needed. Since most of the care workers are also HIV positive, they give the patients hope that they can still lead a normal life despite their illness.

Project goals

“Masangane” is an aid programme of the Moravian Church in South Africa (MCSA) for people infected with HIV and AIDS. “Masangane” means “to embrace”. The aim of the project is to come close to people who are HIV positive and suffer from AIDS and have been marginalised so many times. The aid programme is intended to give them hope that a normal life is possible despite the sickness. It is mainly directed at young, infected mothers and orphans. The children and adults should live a normal life and the project prepares the path for them to return to society.

Project work

“Masangane”, the aid programme of the Moravian Church in South Africa (MCSA), offers people infected with HIV and AIDS all-round help in the form of counselling, pastoral care and financial support. The staff help with visits to the authorities and filling out forms. This allows those infected to receive life-sustaining medicine more quickly. An animal rearing project and a kindergarten are also part of the project. Infected men and women receive support in the rearing of chickens and children have access to care and education.

Project partner

The Moravian Church in South Africa (MCSA) has around 45,000 members and 85 congregations. It is one of the largest provinces in the worldwide "Unitas Fratrum" (Unity of the Brethren). The church is fighting against racism and faces up to social challenges. The church lives off the associations for men's work and gender work, Sunday school and youth organised by the church as a whole. Important welfare and social institutions and programmes by the church include the "Elim Home" in the Western Cape and the "Masangane AIDS Programme" located in Matatiele.

We are pleased to hear that you are interested in this project. If you have any general questions, please use the contact form below. We are also happy to help you personally if you have any questions or require further information – by phone or by E-mail.


Georg Meyer

Head of Unit Africa

+49 711 636 78 -14

Angelika Jung

Head of Unit Fundraising

+49 711 636 78 -63

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"Every step forwards and each smile makes all our efforts more than worthwhile," says Lesinda Cunningham, head of Elim Home. Since 1963, Elim Home in South Africa has provided a place to live for children with…

AIDS destroys the livelihood of many South Africans and their families since those infected can find no jobs and children are left as orphans. The "Masangane" project brings back hope to AIDS sufferers and to the…