I am writing to let you know that South Africa Partners will soon be announcing my retirement (set for end of March of next year). This is going to be a big change for me and for the organization - but we are both ready!!
It has been nearly 20 years since we started SA Partners. I have loved every minute of the work and am so proud of what we have built together. The organization is strong financially, thanks in part to current U.S. Government grants that will continue for several more years, new opportunities, and the loyalty of our donors and supporters.
With an active and committed Board of Directors we have been able to refine and strengthen our mission, raise our visibility, build solid financial management systems, hire very talented staff (both here and in South Africa), amass knowledge and experience that makes us a valued and trusted partner in South Africa, and understand what our unique contribution is to South Africa's democratic development. The new Executive Director will come into an organization that is growing and changing in ways that I couldn't even have imagined in 1997.
Our Integrated Access to Care and Treatment (I ACT) Program is a great example of how we have been able to successfully adapt a U.S. model. I ACT comes directly out of a request that the Eastern Cape Department of Health made in 2006 to adapt a Massachusetts model for the empowerment of people living with HIV (PLHIV). It took us 10 years to adapt, test, improve and scale-up I ACT, but it is now the standard for pre-antiretroviral treatment in South Africa. Last year we began providing technical assistance to the National Department of Health as I ACT is integrated into the HIV continuum of care and HIV/AIDS is integrated into the national strategy for chronic disease management in South Africa, impacting millions of PLHIV.
We want to be able to do more of this work -- test, adapt, implement, and scale -- and do it faster and more efficiently. To facilitate this we are establishing an Innovation Fund. The purpose is to support the organization's ability to identify leading-edge, evidence-based models that can be successfully adapted and scaled to address gaps in South Africa's health and education transformation process.
On a personal note, retirement will give me more time to spend with my two amazing (if I do say so myself) grandchildren who live in Philadelphia, and also to be there for my 95 year old mother who lives in Dallas.
I plan to stay involved with South Africa work and am ready to assist South Africa Partners in any way I can
. You have been an important part of this journey and I hope you will remain as committed to the work as I will be.
Change can be unsettling, but in the case of my retirement, we have done everything possible to ensure a smooth transition. I feel confident and excited about the future of South Africa Partners.
To support this transition South Africa Partners has retained Third Sector New England (based in Boston, Massachusetts) to consult and project manage the search and transition process. We invite you to refer interested candidates here.