MPhil study projects

The development and history of Stellenbosch Aids Action o/a atHeart 1998 to 2019

Student: Lynette Rademeyer-Bosman

Country: South Africa

Emerging to bridge the gap between primary health care and palliative care, the Stellenbosch Aids Action Group, operating as atHeart, was established in 1998 and registered as a non-profit organisation in 2002. This thesis presents a comprehensive case study detailing atHeart’s evolution, documenting the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders to create a responsive platform addressing the needs of individuals affected by HIV and Aids.

Examining the establishment of atHeart as a non-profit entity, the study delves into the impact of South African government policies on HIV management and consequent service provision challenges, including funding acquisition, leadership dynamics and programme design.

Drawing from 20 years of organisational records, the narrative illustrated the journey of atHeart. Key takeaways included the critical role of networking, governance practices, sustainability strategies and fundraising endeavours. The study highlighted the effectiveness of well-trained counselling personnel and the management of comprehensive HIV testing and treatment adherence programmes, attributing positive outcomes to atHeart’s collaborative service delivery approach. This research underscored the vital lessons from atHeart’s trajectory, emphasising the significance of a robust organisational culture and strategic service planning in addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by HIV and Aids.