April 18, 2006
De Beers Partners with Soul City to Address HIV/AIDS
De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. earlier this month announced a $955,000 ($5.7 million South African Rand) partnership with a South African community health organization to promote HIV and AIDs prevention and education throughout the country.
De Beers is partnering with Soul City: Institute for Health and Development Communication (IHDC), a non-government organization that uses mass media and "edutainment" to promote health and development in South Africa. The organization trains leaders on using its programs to educate community members on a range of health and socioeconomic issues, including water, sanitation, HIV and AIDS, and violence against women.
The partnership is part of De Beers' commitment to addressing the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Africa at a community level, for which it has been using its De Beers Fund in recent years. Last year, the fund's board decided that 70% of the 2006 fund should be used for training in areas that Soul City targets, while 30% should be dedicated to education in communities near De Beers mines.
In addition to training programs that aim to foster behavior change in targeted populations, Soul City uses such as dramas broadcast on TV and radio to educate mass audiences.