Date: June 20, 2019
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Sister Meyer, as child, experienced her own challenges as she grew up without knowing her biological father. Her grandparents raised her and at the age of eight, my grandmother died, and her grandfather took care of her until 11 years old. After which she was forced to go and live with her mother and stepfather .with a stepfather, having a substance abuse problem, she was exposed to emotional abuse as he would lock her out of the house when he was drunk and even belittling her, reminding her that she is not his child. The feeling of rejection, not worthy and being dependent was part of her daily life. Knowing this, she developed a special place in her heart for child headed households and vulnerable people. She wants to be there for those in need, as she knows how it feel to be vulnerable, needing assistance and do not get any help. Working in nursing, she always know that she wants to work in her community, and focussed in Psychiatric Nursing. This was a stepping-stone for her work in the community.


The purpose of Sr Meyer life, is bring happiness and growth to her household, her community ,her organization and all within her influence, while living a rich and abundant life of integrity, which is her definition of success. Living correctly with principles is the centre of her life, from which she sees solutions to life’s many demands.

Key activities          

As CBS Coordinator, I am responsible to do the following: Provide assistance to NPO’s (administrative, soft skills, conflict resolution)

Provide assistance in the writing of funding proposals

Co-ordinating all services in regards to health and arranging projects, interventions to address the NSP 2017-2022.

Being the liaison officer between Old Age Homes, Palliative and Sub-acute Centre.

Represent the Department of Health at all community structures

Responsible to provide training on the HBC

To act as project manager in the field

Key challenges       

As an individual the focus is to have an inter secretarial approach to services. The challenge is that some organisations or staff wants to take the lead, being the focus and loose then focus on the service needed. Working as a collective, and not taking created as an individual. Being the intermediary, she needs to intervene and refer several situations to different Departments. As the information is confidential, the challenge is to obey legislation, but to be transparent in the same breath. Sponsors cut on funding, results in sustainable programs – a working instrument, to be changed to fit into the budget constraints.



Change at the individual level

Instead of looking with blinkers, I have the ability to look broader. I think working in the field, I realized that inter departmental mainstreaming is necessary to be able to meet the overall objectives of gender mainstreaming. Sometime, you need to step back to be able to step into the situation. Having the ability to putting yourself in the shoes of the next persons. Looking to situation out of the scope of DOH, versus NPO, made it possible for me to make a linkage and meet each other halfway.

Evidence of change at the individual level

Rita Kayster: “The fact that Sister Meyer gained exposure at the previous Gender Links summit and was part of several initiatives certainly contributes to her being more sympathetic and having more perspective on the challenges facing the community as well as organizations. not from a Clinical Health aspect to our programs, but puts herself in the shoes of the patient or organization, through which she makes life easier for us as she rises to the challenges and gives the correct picture of the problem to her Department ”

Change at the household level  

Taking my background and feeling of rejection into account, it gave me more confidence, when realizing that the situation changed as the family is now turning towards me for assistance and guidance. I am no longer the insecure girl child, but women that can influence my family to get a positive outcome.

Evidence of change at the household level

Kayline Cameron- “Aunt Pedro is for our family the person who can put the conflict situations. Problems and challenges in perspective and for us in a narrative way. Can help to see the situation in the right light, and thus help us to get the necessary to make decisions – not for an immediate way out, but focused on a long-term solution for the family”

Change at institutional level

It was so good for me to go to George Road Clinic every day and go to work there. I was able to answer the phones and help write appointments in the book and draw the files of the patients. For the first time, I felt that I was also making a difference in someone else’s life

Change at a policy level

Having no policy is a policy itself. A formal TOR and five-year action plan were adopted not only in the Mossel Bay Local Aids Council, but also within the IDP of the Municipality.

Evidence of change at a policy level

Edward Jantjies – Director Corporate Service Mossel Bay Municipality

The Mossel Bay Local AIDS Council is unique in its model as it is customised for the needs of Mossel Bay. The ability to network and form partnerships not only with private and public sector, but also the Tourism Industry, Business Chamber and residents ensure that the community of Mossel Bay is recognising, respecting and trusting the structure that is the accountable body to drive programs in the field of HIV/AIDS and TB. Within this structure the Piet Julies AIDS Action Group plays a huge role, as Civil Society, they are the driving force in implementing programs focussed on:

  • Community-based Prevention, Care and Treatment
  • Vulnerable Children
  • Sexual Reproductive Health Services
  • Early interventions
  • Nutritional Support

The mentorship, transfer of skills and assistance from the Piet Julies Offices, Team workers, Home Base Care Workers and project leaders, is creating a directive and guideline for all organisations, new entities and volunteers in the community. As it is part of the Mossel Bay Municipality Integrated Development Plan, it ensures that HIV/AIDS and TB will always form part of the Agenda of all opportunities in Mossel Bay.

Capacity building

Project Management

Nursing Training

Peer Education Training

Lessons learned and shared

Networking and mainstreaming of Gender can be seen as siblings. To be able to mainstream gender, you need to be able to draw all resources together. It is a process of building relationships, building trust and focus on a partnership to create change together.

Next Steps

The MLAC structure needs to be registered as a NPO so that sufficient funding to address not only the HIV and SRHS problems, but also the focus on Human Rights.