The Dakuza Clinic: Providing Hope for Young Mothers in South Africa

A young mother holds her newborn in the Dakuza Clinic in South Africa where Pathfinder staff help train health workers on providing youth-friendly services.

Stepping into the Dakuza Clinic in rural South Africa was like jumping through a door to a new world. Outside of the clinic, barefooted children played soccer on a dirt road littered with trash. Mothers nursed their babies in a haze of dirt kicked up by the soccer game, mixed with smoke from a firebreak burning in a nearby field. The land is not clean. But step into the clinic and bright walls, sterile waiting rooms, and smiling, calm nurses welcome patients. This is the Dakuza Clinic, and it acts as a safe haven for hundreds of patients each day.

What I learned in my few hours at Dakuza was both heartbreaking and warming. Nervous faces walked through the door, but nerves gave way to relief once they took in the clinic surroundings. Here, young girls found answers, education, and assistance.

Coming from America, I had no idea what to expect when visiting a primary care clinic in the middle of South Africa. I was there to learn about Pathfinder’s work and to create a video that I would use to help raise money for Pathfinder as part of an around the world rock climbing tour I’ve designed. This tour is called Lead Now and through it I’m trying to complete difficult rock climbs around the world as a way to raise awareness and money for various nongovernmental organizations. It’s similar to running a marathon for breast cancer, except I’m better at climbing than running. My fundraiser is based online at Crowdrise, where I hope to raise $120,000 for 12 different organizations, including $10,000 for Pathfinder.

What I learned in my few hours at Dakuza was both heartbreaking and warming. Nervous faces walked through the door, but nerves gave way to relief once they took in the clinic surroundings. Here, young girls found answers, education, and assistance.

A small staff of nurses at the Dakuza Clinic serves up to 200 patients each day. These nurses administer HIV and AIDS tests, provide counseling for positive testers and their families, educate patients on HIV prevention, provide pre- and postnatal care, and deliver babies, on top of an endless list of other tasks. But most notably, these nurses are certified as “youth-friendly”, thanks to Pathfinder. When frightened young girls walk into the clinic, nurses know how to reassure, comfort, and educate young patients.

While at the clinic, I met a young woman and her newborn baby, just a few hours old. This woman, two years my junior at 21, told a nurse that this was her second child, but her first had not lived past infancy. The nurse added that for the birth of this second child, the ambulance had not arrived in time, so the woman had given birth at her home, alone.

As heart wrenching as these details were, I knew that this new baby in front of my eyes had every chance of surviving, thanks to Pathfinder and the Dakuza clinic. Nurses would oversee the health of the mother throughout the following weeks, immunize the child, educate the mother on HIV prevention for both herself and her child, and be a guiding light through the new life of this young baby. At the heart of their work, Dakuza provides hope, and Pathfinder fuels that hope for children, teenage girls, and young mothers.

A huge thank you to the nurses at Dakuza who took time to show me around the clinic, and to Pathfinder for organizing my visit and supporting such an important institution as Dakuza. The work you all are doing is saving lives, hearts, and hope!

Paige Claassen is a professional rock climber and the founder of the Lead Now Tour. You can read more about her global travels on her blog.

Watch to see Pathfinder's work in action in the Dukuza Clinic of South Africa:

The Dukuza Clinic: Providing Care for Young Mothers in South Africa

Leave a Comment

* Change

Comments

It was great to see the old printshop and everyone who works there again. I am excited to see a printing business still operating and growing, great job guysBeach Portraits Maui
ali April 18, 2014
Buying an auto directly from its owner is always a good idea. Automotive Sports That's a perfect chance to save money. Besides, you can approach this person with questions if anything happens to the car just after you have purchased it.
Automotive Sports April 18, 2014
Buying an auto directly from its owner is always a good idea. Automotive Sports That's a perfect chance to save money. Besides, you can approach this person with questions if anything happens to the car just after you have purchased it.
Automotive Sports April 17, 2014
Colors are carriers of symbolic, Business Finance psychological and emotional information. They influence the recognizability of the message and memory mechanisms as well as establishes relationships between the elements of the message.
Business Finance April 17, 2014
I really like the fresh perfection you did on the issue. Really was not expecting that when I started off studying. Your concepts were easy to understand that I wondered why I never looked at it before igi game free download
alex April 17, 2014
at Dakuza who took time to show me around the clinic, and to Pathfinder for organizing my visit and supporting such an important institution as Dakuza. The work you all are doing is saving lives, hearts, and hope! http://truckinginjurylawyer.com/trucking-accident-injury
jimmy April 15, 2014
I will recommend this to all my friends as I find the information here really interesting � can't wait for another article from you! currency trading strategies Thanks:)
brokerforex April 14, 2014
I really like the fresh perfection you did on the issue. Really was not expecting that when I started off studying. Your concepts were easy to understand that I wondered why I never looked at it before. cash advance
falloutexpart April 13, 2014
Likes greatly increase the acceptance from the page and with all the suitable quantity depend; numerous of us will possible be keen on your account. The firms which offer these providers, will supply you with non-automated or robotic likes and provide you with real instagram likes. The good issue relating to this is the undeniable fact that they could be quickly shipped within your account which means you don't have to go to that a great deal. And when you are a group, increasing your Instagram likes may be helpful.
Name April 12, 2014
I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job! kontorimööbel
calvinbrock735 April 11, 2014
Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it! http://top5mattressreviews.littleprofiles.com/
stuart April 10, 2014
This is my alpha shot to inflict this website. I start few remarkable acts plus I volition impose to the formation of my blog. Acknowledges for sharing serviceable info. Papers are benevolent i recently recite a blog this has plus given me any another info for my studies.i lack dints you hold made in this courier. thesis writing
asws April 9, 2014
While we can use the natal chart (also called a birth chart or horoscope) as a "window" ... http://www.dimiwise.gr/2014/04/zwdia.html
Annita April 8, 2014
Should there be another persuasive post you can share next time, I’ll be surely waiting for it. model mayhem
jacksonman11 April 7, 2014
Well really appreciate the efforts you all have made here to make this page more informative. Thanks again keep it up Accident Claims
Accident Claims April 7, 2014
This is the perception backward the descriptive composition. Several power think that saga pieces are the simplest build of manuscript. Australian disciples at sum flats of educate besides moreover breeding are faced beside essay statement endeavors. freedebtconsolidationquotes.com
SDUI April 7, 2014
Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on a look out for such information. is bubblegum casting legitimate
Ali April 6, 2014
These nurses administer HIV and AIDS tests, provide counseling for positive testers and their families. Thewarehouse.pk
Sara Hassan April 4, 2014
Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it! humor sites
stuart April 3, 2014
I would love to stop by. But, I think it might have to wait until this summer. I did not know that Serlkay had ever expanded its size. I must say that a succesful family owned business in this day and age is a very refreshing sight! As well as this is a very refreshing site! http://whatsthebestadjustablebedbrand.makesit.net/
stuart April 3, 2014
Scroll to top