HOKISA (Homes for Kids in South Africa) was founded in 2001 in Cape Town as a South African nonprofit NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) to contribute in the fight against AIDS by creating examples of care especially for those who are most vulnerable – the children. Opening on World Aids Day 2002, HOKISA cares for children affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in a family-like environment seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Through this program educational program model, communities throughout South Africa have recognized the improvement in health and wellbeing of the children who arrived at the home very sick. It is the aim of HOKISA to empower members of poor communities where HIV/AIDS is most devastating. No money is spent for office buildings or costly administration. Donations go directly to the HOKISA Children’s Home and the care of the children. All childcare workers are residents in the same township community and have had the opportunity to grow and develop their skills.
The commitment set forth by Mr. Victor Restis to promote the health and welfare of communities throughout the African continent aligned with the HOKISA model of community education and personalized childcare. Mr. Restis recognized that this approach to battling the effects of HIV/AIDS on children was a concrete way to promote openness around HIV/AIDS, and to educate against the stigma and denial around the disease by setting examples of effective care and honest communication.
In addition to personalized care, HOKISA provides training and skills development for all staff members to fully understand the facts around HIV/AIDS. These workshops include education programming around early childhood education, nutritious food for children with weakened immune systems, and specialized training to dispel the stigma associated with this deadly disease. To advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and education, a youth group meets regularly at the HOKISA Peace House to watch educational films and engage in meaningful discussions around issues that are relevant to the youth in the township.