History of Lerato's Hope
2002 - a family in Pinelands Baptist Church, together with church friends founded an NPO called Lerato's Hope in honour of their daughter, Lerato 'Lolo' Ryan. 'Lerato' means love in isiXhosa, isiZulu and Sesotho languages. The verse 1 Corinthians 3:7 'Love always hopes' was also inspiration.
During this time, HIV/AIDS was a primary focus of the organisation given the state of the epidemic 2004 - 2007. "The estimated overall HIV prevalence rate is approximately 13,7% among the South African population. The total number of people living with HIV (PLWHIV) [human immunodeficiency syndrome] is estimated at approximately 8,2 million in 2021. For adults aged 15–49 years, an estimated 19,5% of the population is HIV positive. More recently, the HIV pandemic, at its peak in 2006, contributed to almost 40% of all deaths in the country (Simbayi et al., 2019). AIDS-related deaths have remained prevalent in South Africa for more than 2 decades." - Stats SA, 2021
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, the body’s natural defence against illness. If HIV is left untreated, a person’s immune system will get weaker and weaker until it can no longer fight off life-threatening infections and diseases. With treatment, people living with HIV can enjoy a long and healthy life. AIDS is a set of symptoms and illnesses that develops at the final stage of HIV infection, if left untreated. Testing regularly for HIV means you can get antiretroviral treatment if you need it and stay healthy.
2011 - the organisation has newly appointed board members and constitution with three strategic streams recognised: urban gleaning, urban missionaries and mercy & justice community and conversation. The focus shifts to social justice issues affecting children and family of communities partnered to the organisation.
2016 - the organisation supports the formulation of an official Mercy & Justice ministry in Pinelands Baptist Church, through practical support to the ministry team and joining in the budding community forming around the theme of mercy & justice within the church congregations.