Faces from Nkandla

Welcome to The Africa Project

The Africa Project at the Youth Conference on AIDS

The Africa Project was born in the hearts and minds of ordinary citizens who believe in the power of community and the ideals of service. We recognize the talents of our partners in Africa and approach every endeavor we embark on as an opportunity to learn together.

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The Beginning

Street sign in Nkandla

The Africa Project began on December 2, 2003 after the documentary, AIDS Orphan, Lost Child aired on the Discovery Health Channel at 2:00 o’clock in the morning. This powerful film addresses the AIDS crisis in Africa, focusing on how children are affected by the loss of their parents. It is important to note that at the time, most Americans were uninformed regarding these issues, as we were. In fact, the Oprah Christmas in Africa segment, which helped to raise awareness and generate attention, did not air until later that month. Read More…

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The Orphans of Nkandla

The 2003 documentary film, The Orphans of Nkandla inspired our community to act in response to the crisis of AIDS in Africa and its impact on the lives of children there. In 2017, True Vision published this segment from The Orphans of Nkandla on YouTube as part of the RealStories series. The full, updated version (2005) is available on the True Vision website. We hope that you will take the time to watch this important film. After, if you would like to get involved, we hope that you will join us!

The Africa Project logo

Morning Silence

By Peggy Goetz, Africa Unfinished

In a land of noises
Busisiwe wakes to silence
the air in the round hut
still, she pulls open her eyelids
heavy as full buckets of water
this morning after another night
of sounds creeping in the brush
danger always present
slicing through the tall grass
to the uncertain rhythm
of Umama’s ragged breath.
A crow calls, and another,
in the silence that fills Busisiwe’s
throat, her chest, her empty
stomach. A woman at twelve
she must care for her small
brother and tiny sister,
a bath today and fix brother’s
sandal so she doesn’t
have to walk alone for water.
And Umama, she must care for Umama.

But the silence. Brother whimpers
and stirs, at six he can build
a fire outside the doorway
to warm the stones to keep
Mma warm. Even on warm
days she’s cold now, even with
the children’s clothes piled on top.
There’s only one cupful of meal
left to last four days, and baby sister’s
always hungry, not old enough
to be used to emptiness like
Busisiwe. She’ll have to
use it carefully. She tries not
to hear the silence.
Brother sits straight up
eyes wide in his dream
darkened face. It’s the silence.
Busisiwe moves to hold him, they
stare at Umama, so silent
so still now. Baby sister crawls over
and they cry to drown the silence.