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Staff charity brings new hope to children living with HIV

03 February 2010

The Nkosi Johnson Unit at the Trust’s West London Centre for Sexual Health is named after a little South African boy called Nkosi Johnson who was born HIV positive and died in 2001.

The Nkosi Johnson Unit at the Trust’s West London Centre for Sexual Health is named after a little South African boy called Nkosi Johnson who was born HIV positive and died in 2001. His life was characterised by his brave fight for the rights of children living with HIV.

Staff at the West London Centre decided to develop international links to honour Nkosi Johnson’s legacy by launching the Nkosi Johnson Fundraising Charity in December 2006. They involved family and friends in the project and have held numerous fundraising events over the last three years.

The philosophy of Nkosi’s Haven in Johannesburg, South Africa, is to ensure that HIV positive mothers and their children can remain together for as long as possible in a comfortable, accepting, non-judgemental environment.

Staff at Nkosi’s Haven address the issues surrounding children who become orphans and ensure that all the children within the Haven are able to continue their schooling.

The Nkosi Johnson Fundraising Charity’s original target was to raise £25,000 to cover the cost of building a cottage for two mothers and six children, and to provide education of the six children for one academic year.

Three years on, staff at the West London Centre have raised more than £26,000. This incredible achievement is a testament to the dedication of the fundraising team and all those individuals who supported the events.

Anosha Ramsammy, Project Lead and a nurse at the West London Centre, is keen to thank all committee members for their contributions, no matter how big or small, and in particular Julie Edmond and Maureen Helmi, the Treasurers, who have been tireless in their efforts and dedication to exceed the charity’s fundraising target.

Significant contributions to the charity were given by patients attending the Nkosi Johnson Unit and neighbouring businesses, clubs and pubs. This has been a real team effort involving the local community around Charing Cross Hospital where the West London Centre for Sexual Health is located.

Julie and Maureen said: “We hope that our fundraising will gain momentum over time to ensure ongoing support so that HIV positive children at Nkosi’s Haven can receive the education they deserve.”

Dr Charlotte Cohen, Consultant at the West London Centre, said: “We have achieved more than we could have hoped for when we started the project. I am delighted with the success so far which is a credit to the team at the West London Centre and to all our loyal supporters."