Hlokomela’s geographical focus is the Hoedspruit agricultural community in the Maruleng Municipality, Mopani District, Limpopo Province, South Africa, adjacent to the Kruger National Park. Hoedspruit is predominantly a fruit and game farming area with a large population of seasonal and migrant workers.
Farms in the focus area usually employ only about 10-50 permanent workers but a large number of seasonal workers are employed during the picking season. Many of these seasonal workers are migrants from other areas of South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere in Southern Africa. Hlokomela currently provides services to workers and their families on 49 farms in the Hoedspruit community, including a number of employees on commercial game reserves in the area adjacent to Kruger National Park and elsewhere in the region.
An estimated 8 000 farm workers and their families benefit directly from Hlokomela services. Each month, Hlokomela helps approximately 200 people access voluntary HIV counselling and testing (HCT) services, and helps 150 people living with HIV receive antiretroviral therapy (ART). It is worth noting that of all the workers from the participating farms who have been tested for HIV, more than 60% have tested in the short time Hlokomela has been offering HCT outreach services. Importantly, Hlokomela’s communication programmes engage directly with farm workers to promote safer sexual practice and wellness, and work with the broader community to create a caring, supportive environment.