Vrygrond is a deeply impoverished peri-urban community, 80 kms outside Cape Town. HIV prevalence here runs between 11-13%. The Vrygrond Community Development Trust, a local community group, is establishing a multi-purpose community centre in Vrygrond which replicates the highly successful Etafeni Centre in Nyanga, Cape Town, that EJAF helped to establish in 2004.
The Etafeni management is helping the Vrygrond Trust to build, staff and fund the new centre. The centre's purpose is to care for AIDS-affected and vulnerable children and their caregivers and to serve as a resource centre for the entire community in their struggle against AIDS and poverty.
The Etafeni Centre is now a hub for local services, seeing over 140 children a year, and providing food, counselling, referrals and other support. Vrygrond hopes to mirror this service provision within 1 year of the completion of the community centre. Co-funding for this work has been given by German broadcaster RTL, thanks to huge support from Annie Lennox's SING campaign. Annie performed in RTL's annual Spendenmarathon to support the Vrygrond project. Austrian grant maker Life Ball is also providing funding for the programme.