Since 2006, when the first caregiver group was established at Dwaleni, a total of 1712 individuals have been trained in the home-based caregiver programme. Although some of those who have been trained have left SHBC for various reasons, equipping community members with caregiving skills is a far-reaching activity which has long-term value for the communities within which the skills are being developed. Training community members in caregiving uplifts them through its positive impact on the wider community: it improves the way the community sees people living with HIV/AIDS; it equips them with the skills to support PLWHA in a way that ensures people's inherent dignity is honoured, and it cultivates a caregiving mindset within the community.


Community members are not only equipped with care support skills, but are given tools to use, processes to do the work, and they are helped to become organised, with support structures in the form of a Coordinator and a Committee within each community. Everything they need to do the caregiving work is established during the training, which is therefore the single biggest enabler of the core work of SHBC. The training itself is a means to destigmatise and to demonstrate how to act towards PLWHA. Moreover, in an environment traditionally dominated by males, SHBC has empowered hundreds of women, resulting in them being respected and recognised for the life-giving role they play among community members.