Tapologo Hospice for orphans and vulnerable children is situated in Phokeng village, Rustenburg. It was started in 1997 by a Catholic nursing sister, Georgina Boswell, and Bishop Kevin Dowling, who realised that there was a huge need to help people deal with HIV/AIDS in the community.
The centre was given its Setswana name, which means ‘place of peace rest’, by Semane Molotlegi, the Queen Mother of the Royal Bafokeng Nation (RBN) in 1997 in acknowledgement of her contribution to the founding of the hospice. She is also the patron of the project.
A non-governmental organisation (NGO), the project draws patients from the RBN villages of Luka, Phokeng, Chaneng and Freedom Park, and is expanding its services to another six RBN villages as well as to a further four villages in the Rustenburg area. The hospice works in collaboration with the provincial Department of Health, the Paul Kruger Hospital, NGOs and community-based organisations. It also offers services to various clinics surrounding the villages.
Implats has been a sponsor of Tapologo since its inception. During FY2007 the group donated R670,000 for the establishment of three home-based care units and R560,000 for the refurbishment of the administration block.
Tapologo has four areas of specialty:
Initially, Tapologo had space for only 20 people in the in-patient unit but because of the increase in patients affected by HIV and AIDS and those requiring stabilisation before starting anti-retroviral treatment (ART), that number has increased to 42. But such is the demand that even more accommodation is required and another unit is being built to take a further 10 patients.
The hospice has its own home-based care and first aid training programme which is run by an accredited trainer to ensure that all the caregivers are provided with ongoing in-service training.
The Tapologo programme has brought care and hope to many affected families in the Phokeng/Rustenburg region.