Dr Zungu, KwaZulu Natal Head of Health, has confirmed in writing approval of 3 years funding to our Embo Partner which will secure staffing, equipment, consumables and medications. Power of God Community Church – with the support of MAI and commitment to fund the Clinic facility – made this application following the early success of our capital fundraising. This is a much needed clinic for the people of this “informal settlement” that is spreading through the Valley.

The Health Authority has recognised that the people of Embo are facing a severe HIV/Aids epidemic. Through illness and unemployment, many are unable to access the nearest clinic in Bothas Hill. Following two volunteer team visits from MAI in 2011 and 2013, our Partnership began to focus on building a basic facility that could bring healthcare nearer to the people, while continuing our grant funding to the home-based palliative care work undertaken by the church.

MAI’s initial fund-raising efforts have been successful. Due to the delay in the Health Authority decision together with a revision of the building design, MAI will need to recalculate the capital costs and complete the fund raising target as soon as possible. To this end, Pastor Gcabashe will be in the UK in late April and early May.

The site has already been levelled and extensive retaining walls put in place, given the undulating terrain. Water and electricity supplies have already been laid on, so now the capital costs can be calculated and a fixed price contract finalised. It is hoped that work can begin on the foundations soon after Easter. Volunteer bricklayers and plumbers would be welcome too!

Pastor Gcabashe said: “This is amazing; it is wonderful news for our community.” For MAI, John Earwicker reflected: “This is the kind of partnership we had dared to dream of; the church has established such a good reputation through its home based palliative care work that the community as a whole were pressing for this Clinic to gain support from the Health Authority. It is a tribute to the vision, passion and sheer hard work of Pastor Leonard, his wife Gladys, Nurse Joyce and the caregivers. This is a day to celebrate and then to press on with finding the funds to get it built!”

The revised Embo Clinic plan.