Mpilonhle, zulu for a good life, is a non-governmental organization dedicated to helping one of South Africa’s poorest communities, Umkhanyakude District in northern Kwa-Zulu Natal. Mpilonhle focuses on health promotion and social development of youth, sponsoring mobile health units that visit rural schools and their community to provide health education and HIV prevention services, HIV testing, curative services, and computer training.
Mpilonhle was registered with the South Africa Department of Social Welfare as a non-profit organization on 22 November 2006 (registration number 051-766-NPO), and its first staff – Slie Mkhwanazi and Khanya Mdletshe – were hired on January 8th 2007.
Mpilonhle was founded by Michael Bennish and JP Sevilla, who through their previous experiences, recognized that although much is now being done for persons infected with HIV and have AIDS, much less progress has been achieved in preventing HIV infections. Adolescents are particularly at risk for HIV infection, yet are woefully uninformed about the risks and management of infection. Youth growing up in Umkhanyakude District have an almost 50% chance of becoming infected with HIV during their lifetime.