Wola Nani


Xhosa for Embrace

WOLA NANI was established in 1994 to give support to the most vulnerable in the HIV/Aids pandemic.

All products are proudly hand-crafted by people living with HIV/Aids. Buying these products helps maintain dignity and pride for people living with HIV/Aids, by offering them a hand up rather than a handout.

t is within the context of South Africa having the largest burden of HIV infection in Sub-Saharan Africa that Wola Nani works towards its vision of seeing the quality of life of persons living with HIV/Aids improved to an extent that they are living positively, with hope.

Established in 1994, Wola Nani is one of the oldest non-governmental organizations in the Cape which consistently provides this type of service to women, children and men living with HIV and AIDS as well as to those affected by the socio economic consequences of this disease.

Wola Nani’s services have traditionally been predominantly designed for the unemployed HIV infected women for two main reasons. The first, proven by studies is that women are most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS due to the range of social, economic, biological, cultural and legal factors. The second, is that women are often, whether by choice or not, the consistent providers for the family in terms of food and care. In the same context, children often suffer the negative effects of poverty, disease and the breakdown in family life, Children who live in poverty are all vulnerable- whether orphaned by HIV and AIDS or not and therefore children are a focal point of the work of Wola Nani, in addressing the social effects of HIV and AIDS.

Wola Nani’s service provision has for 15 years centered on counselling and support groups, and Income generation for unemployed persons (mainly women) living with HIV and AIDS.

Focus areas of Wola Nani:
Wola Nani has 4 main projects through which is carries out the goals of the organization:

- Income Generation Project
- Orphans and other Vulnerable Children’s Project
- Lay counselling Service in Public Health facilities
- Research & Training institute

Wola Nani, Xhosa for "we embrace and develop each other" was formed to help people living with HIV/AIDS access the services which they need, and to create opportunities for them to help themselves. Wola Nani facilitates job creation programs for individuals and families affected by the virus and offers community support services such as counseling and childcare. 

AIDS in South Africa hits the poor with particular vengeance. With high unemployment in township communities, securing work is difficult enough without the stigma and discrimination which inevitably accompanies disclosing an HIV positive status. For those lucky enough to have work, it is estimated that their income supports 9 others. This financial and emotional burden invariably falls on women to carry.

Women bear the brunt of the national AIDS pandemic. Historically disenfranchised, disempowered and marginalized, they have little voice to articulate their needs or to claim the services on which their survival depends.

South Africa has chronic unemployment and widespread discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS exacerbates the problem for those trying to live and work with the virus.  Wola Nani attempts to relieve this situation by opening income generation opportunities for clients, through providing training in craft making and home care.

Clients receive training and can thus engage in low-impact craft production activities like paper mache and beadwork enabling them to continue working in times of poor health.  Through the production of these highly marketable crafts, women on the project earn a steady and reliable income with which to support themselves and their dependents.

Merchandise produced serves as evidence that people living with HIV/AIDS can continue to lead dignified and productive lives.  Products are sold overseas and at outlets nationwide as well as at Wola Nani’s own shop located within the Cape Town office.