Wola Nani, Xhosa for ‘we embrace and develop one another’, was established in 1994 as a non-profit organisation to help bring relief to the communities hardest hit by the HIV crisis in the townships* of Capetown. It was formed at a time when there was a large pull-back on welfare spending and a huge increase in the number of HIV and AIDS cases, Wola Nani initiated programmes to help HIV+ people in the local community cope with the emotional and financial strains brought about by HIV and AIDS.Wola Nani focuses on the needs of HIV+ women and their children, Wola Nani’s services aim to ease the burden of HIV by enabling people living with the virus to respond positively and attain the skills to develop their own coping strategies.

Historically disenfranchised, disempowered and marginalised, women bear the brunt of the South African pandemic, where around 20% of the total population is infected with the disease. They have little voice to articulate their needs or to claim the services on which their survival depends.

Wola Nani Crafts emerged in response to the need for unemployed, HIV-positive women to generate an income. They currently offer a wide range of products from, paper mache houseware to beadwork.


Refers to often underdeveloped South African urban living areas that, under Apartheid, were reserved for non-whites (principally black Africans and Coloureds, but also working class Indians). Townships were usually built on the periphery of towns and cities