The Eshane project which began in December 2008 was quite different from the Siyabathanda Abantwana and Sikhulakahle programmes. LETCEE held to the same values and principles as outlined in our SiSi Model however the Eshane project was a part of the National Integrated Plan for Children and Families Affected and Infected by HIV and AIDS (NIP). The project was funded by the Department of Social Development and thus there were certain other requirements that had to be met. However, since September 2011 this project has been funded by Kinder Fonds Mamas from the Netherlands.
The Eshane area under the leadership of the Sithole Tribal Authority is vast and includes the areas of Eshane, Engoje, Embangweni, Lilani, Sgedlane, Thulini, Mhlazane and Nseleni. There are 8 Abahambi and an ECD Coordinator currently working in the area, elected by the communities from which they come. These Abahambi were required not only to render ECD services but also Home Based Care to the families with whom they worked. Each Mhambi was responsible for visiting 4 families and collectively they reached 101 children in the area. Funding was provided for food parcels and school uniforms, which is very different from the approach implemented in the other two communities.
The Eshane project is under going much change and is beginning to resemble the other SiSi programmes more since being funded by Kinderfonds MAMAs. The Abahambi and community committees are currently in the process of identifying more families in the area who can join the programme and Buddies will be selected early in 2012. The Toy Library is no longer a mobile service and is now operating out of one of the rooms at the Tribal Court in Eshane.
LETCEE and the Eshane community would like to express our thanks to the Department of Social Development for assisting us to begin the programme in Eshane and to Kinderfonds MAMAs who are so willingly supporting us to take the programme forward.