Our script of the week tells the story of the Heso Organic and Integrated Therapeutic Centre in Lesotho, a country in southern Africa. Lesotho has the world’s highest HIV prevalence at 27.7%. This has resulted in the average life expectancy of Lesotho being very low – 37 years. Many Lesothans, especially men, migrate to South Africa to work in mines and return home with HIV. Those unable to obtain treatment die, leaving behind widows and children. As a result, there are many households headed by children.
But antiretroviral treatment is now free and HIV-positive people are able to live longer and healthier lives. In order to help each other, People Living With AIDS, or PLWHAs, form support groups to tackle common problems.
The Heso Organic and Integrated Therapeutic Centre is one such support group. It aims to empower families and communities by using a holistic and practical community-based approach to care and support. It offers a wide range of alternative and complementary therapies to vulnerable groups (HIV-positive or not), including massage, meditation, fitness exercises and open-air garden walks.
This script is a mini-drama based on an interview with the founder and participants of the Heso Organic and Integrated Therapeutic Centre in October 2010.