October 7, 2011
PWRDF congratulates the Keiskamma Trust, a PWRDF partner honoured with the Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Chairman’s Premier Award. This award recognizes sustained and extraordinary commitment to the arts in South Africa.
The Keiskamma Trust provides skills, materials, and training to people living in the Eastern Cape area of Hamburg, to create beautiful artwork, including the Keiskamma Altarpiece and Tapestry. These pieces of art carry the message of hope in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
PWRDF supports the Trust’s work with people affected by HIV and AIDS. It is the only organization providing HIV and AIDS health care in the region, and currently supports about 200 people with anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs), palliative care for those who need it and other supports including workers who visit patients to provide education, monitor their condition and ensure they are taking their medications. Keiskamma has been instrumental in increasing the capacity of hospitals and clinics in the region to test newborns for HIV, and providing support to pregnant women, 35% of whom are HIV-positive.
Keiskamma’s art projects are part of their holistic approach to health care. By providing training to those on the margins of society, and helping them to develop art projects, Keiskamma has improved the quality of life for hundreds of (now) artists in the area. They have five studios which specialize in beading, felt-making, embroidery, ceramics, and printmaking. Their commissioned works have been used all over the world, including the 2006 International AIDS conference held in Toronto.