Gogo Rosina Nkomo (56) is an unemployed HIV positive woman living in Lehae – an impoverished township in the Soweto region.
As a member of the Gogos Club held at the local community recreation centre, she has attended HIVSA’s workshops which focus on the prevention of HIV from mother to child; and the nutritional and nutritional benefits of exclusive breasfeeding, irrespective of the mother’s HIV status.
This information is particularly relevant to Gogo Rosina because she takes care of a 3 month infant, Masego. The mother, Brenda Segopa, too, is HIV positive, however Mageso is negative.
Empowered with her knowledge, Gogo Rosina supports Brenda by taking care of Masego when Brenda is at work; and encouraging Brenda to breastfeed and express her milk.
“Before I went to the HIVSA’s workshop at the Gogos Club, I didn’t know that breastfeeding is the best for all babies. I also didn’t know that it is not good to give babies water, soft porridge and other mashed up food before 6 months. I thought that fat babies are healthy babies and babies who cry a lot need proper food. Now that I know what is good, I can help Brenda and other mothers with small babies.” – Said Gogo Rosina.
For Brenda, knowing that her breast milk is safe enables her to bond with Masego and not have to spend the little money she earns on formula
For numerous reasons, in particular the impact of HIV/AIDS on South African families, Gogo Rosina’s relationship with Brenda and her baby is not the exception. More often, it’s the norm