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Welcome New Board Members!

Welcome New Board Members!

We are delighted to welcome two new directors to the Vesper Society Board this year, Irene Heinemeier and John Larson. Both new directors attended the City of Oakley Youth Summit last November where they saw our core value of service in action. Vesper board members conducted workshops for middle and high school students and volunteered as room monitors. Irene Heinemeier has been in healthcare her entire career, first as a medical technologist and the last thirty years in healthcare administration in California, Nevada, Virginia, and Maryland. John Larson is a speaker, teacher, and motivator who began his journalism career at the Boston Globe in 1979 and was an NBC correspondent for 14 years. Learn more about board members Miyoko Oshima,... Read More

HIV/AIDS Treatment

South Africa has the largest and most high profile HIV epidemic in the world. This is the story of a leader in a rural town in South Africa who, in the face of this devastation, created a program that inspired others to serve their communities. Masangane was founded in 2002, and is named for the Xhosa word for “embrace.” Together with a group of volunteers from various Moravian congregations, the late Rev. Mgcoyi, a retired school principal and Moravian pastor, launched a home-based orphan care project in a rural town on the Eastern Cape of South Africa called Matatiele; population 6,000. After hearing about life-saving HIV and AIDS medications, Rev. Mgcoyi and the other volunteers wrote numerous letters to Lutheran and Moravian partner congregations and the Evangelical Association of Mission and Churches (EMS) in Southwest Germany. The response from Germany was overwhelmingly positive and, in June 2002, a treatment fund was established. Doctors Without Borders and Treatment Action Campaign staff monitored and supervised Masangane’s distribution of antiretroviral (ARV) medication. At that time, despite the South African government adopting an ARV program in 2003, Masangane was the only source of free ARVs in the predominantly poor rural population. The success was phenomenal. Masangane’s continuum of care was successful because they reached the very ill and moved them quickly onto ARVs and because they used an effective treatment literacy program developed by Doctors Without Borders. Adherence to the ARVs was very good. The routine of taking medication was linked to a daily bible reading ritual, and strong support groups gave crucial hope and encouragement. These program elements and successes resulted in many patients recovering in three to six months. In 2005, Vesper Society began supporting the Masangane program as an integrated HIV/AIDS program where orphans were cared for, sick parents were... Read More

Project 2

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Partner 1

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