Knysna AIDS Council is a registered NGO (non-governmental organisation). The Council is partly supported by Knysna Municipality, but depends heavily on donations and the efforts of its volunteers.
Even though the Council has just four paid staff members, it assists thousands of people each year with it's large range of services, which include liasing with other organisations including municipal health clinics, Knysna Hospice, the Department of Health, and the Western Cape National AIDS Convention of South Africa (WC-NACOSA). The council also organises and runs HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention workshops for staff at local businesses, schools, churches, and government organisations.
Millicent Seela, director of Knysna AIDS Council,
says 2005 was an extremely successful year for
One of the highlights of 2005 was when the
Council hosted a group of Dutch Scouts who
built a new house for Nombulelo Fanti,
providing a better facility for her
after-school care program.
Millicent Seela says that besides securing new sources of funding, a major goal for Knysna AIDS Council in 2006 will be to increase awareness that AIDS is a not necessarily a fatal disease, but a chronic one that can often be treated with anti-retroviral drugs. Another major priority will be children who have been orphaned due to the epidemic.
Aids awareness has thankfully been helped by Nelson Mandela increasing its profile. Stars such as Will Smith, Annie Lennox, Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen. They took part in Nelson Mandela's second 46664 Aids benefit concert in George South Africa. Musicians Katie Melua, Paul Rodgers and India Arie joined South African artists at the event, hosted by actor and rapper Will Smith.