Our Team


Tania Vergnani


tania smallProf. Tania Vergnani is originally from Cape Town. She is a registered clinical psychologist with a Masters Degree from the University of the Western Cape, as well as a second Masters Degree in Sociology from Freiburg University in Germany. Her PhD, granted by UCT in the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, focused on factors affecting adolescent condom use. She has been at UWC since 1991 as a member of the Faculty of Education and has been Director of the HIV & AIDS Programme since 2001.

Tania's academic passions revolve around teaching life skills and HIV/AIDS education, counseling, care and support, as well as training other educators. She has authored a number of life skills textbooks as well as teacher training manuals for sexuality education. She seeks to help guide the programme and the University towards creating a model response to the epidemic that incorporates teaching, research, prevention, care, support and treatment, management, advocacy and community outreach.
 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 021 959 2247/2648


Joachim Jacobs

jacobsJoachim J. Jacobs grew up in Paarl in the Western Cape. He started his tertiary education at UWC completing both a BA Honours and then a Masters degree in Psychology. In addition Mr. Jacobs completed a Marriage Guidance and Counseling Certificate from UNISA and is currently working towards a doctorate through the University of the Western Cape.

Joachim has been a lecturer in the psychology department at UWC since 1987. He  gained extensive experience in managing community outreach project while supervising peer education and counseling programs in rural areas prior to being asked to manage the HIV/AIDS peer education programme at UWC. His current portfolio includes working collaboratively with staff from the Universities of Zambia, Malawi  and Namibia to develop models of best practice in HIV/AIDS prevention in Africa. He is also a member of the HealthWise South Africa team.
 
 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 021 959 3091 or 082 202 3148


Jim Lees

JimDr. Jim Lees hails from the United States where his life-long activism and work with HIV and AIDS began in 1982 as the pandemic was emerging in New York City. Jim went on to coordinate the first comprehensive HIV support services programme for homeless and runaway teenagers who had HIV and AIDS in San Francisco, and later worked for six years with HIV prevention among street youth in India. He has worked at the University of the Western Cape since 2002 and is currently Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education, working closely with UWC’s HIV and AIDS Programme.

While Jim holds a B.A and an M.A. in anthropology from the United States, he recognized the critical role education must play if the tide of the pandemic is to change in South Africa.  In 2008, Jim completed a D.Phil. in Education at the University of the Western Cape titled Rethinking AIDS Education: Laying a new foundation for more appropriate practice in South Africa. He believes that the course of the AIDS pandemic cannot be altered without us all engaging in profound reflection on ourselves, both individually and collectively, and asking the difficult questions of why we fail to care for ourselves and one another, and why we are so willing to exploit other people’s vulnerabilities and undermine other peoples lives. Jim also believes in the need for a movement to create a new kind of humanity that cherishes, nurtures, protects and preserves all life.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 021 959 2858


Bonile Peter

bonile useBonile Peter was born in Lady Frere in the Eastern Cape. He was tested HIV positive on May 17th  2001 and began speaking openly with his status during the same year. Bonile Peter has been working for the University of the Western Cape HIV/AIDS Programme since 2002 as a Health Promoter. His work involves doing individual counselling, talks about his life experiences with HIV, facilitating support groups, workshops and presentations on HIV/AIDS. He has appeared on “Beat It” (a television programme run by HIV positive individuals discussing HIV&AIDS related issues) which was shown on national television, and has appeared on local news papers and spoken on a number of radio stations in the western cape about his HIV status. He is available for talks about his HIV status and presentations on HIV/AIDS to schools, companies, NGO’s and other tertiary institutions. Talking openly about his HIV status is something he decided to do on his own and has helped him to come to terms with his HIV status.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel:  (021) 959 2432
Cell: 073 227 7320
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Miranda Pillay

MirandaDr Miranda Pillay is a senior lecturer in the Department of Religion and Theology at UWC. She obtained the degree M.Phil. cum laude from the University of Port Elizabeth in 1999. The focus of her doctoral research was 'Ecclesial responses to HIV and AIDS in SA' which she obtained in 2008 at UWC. Her teaching portfolio includes New Testament Studies and Ethics. Several of her courses grapple with the issue of HIV, among them an ethics course that gives students an introduction to the philosophy behind moral decisions, as well as hypothetical situations through which practical experience can be gained.

Dr Pillay does pastoral and spiritual counselling on campus and in the wider community, specifically on religious and spiritual challenges presented by HIV and AIDS and issues around gender power-relations. If any students are interested in spiritual counseling or would like to speak to someone about HIV and AIDS in person or over the phone, please contact  Dr Miranda Pillay at:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 021 959 2201/6 or 072 764 6994


Meryl Adams

adamsMeryl Adams was born and raised in Cape Town. She joined the HIV/AIDS Programme team in 2005 as an adiministrator. She has a certificate in events management and is currently working towards completing a B.Com degree with specialization in tourism management.
 
 
 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 021 959 2648


Olive Swartz

OliveI was born in Ravensmead in the Western Cape. After finishing my Grade 12 I started to work for a company as a debtorscreditors clerk. After marriage I moved to Firgrove near Somerset West. Because of the kind of work that my husband is doing we got involved with people from many different backgounds. Working with people and community work has always been my passion.

She has completed short courses in HIV/AIDS and Drug Education and in HIV/AIDS counselling and caring. She worked as a community counsellor in a clinic before joining the UWC Campus Health Centre.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 021 959 3942/2876


 Melani-Ann Cook

cookMelani-Ann Cook matriculated from St Cyprians School in Cape Town in 2001, after which she took a GAP year to work and travel in Australia. She obtained her BA degree in 2005, has completed a BA Honours degree in Psychology and is currently enrolled in a Masters programme at UWC.

Throughout her undergraduate and postgraduate studies Melani-Ann has been involved with the UWC HIV/AIDS Programme in various capacities, first as a student volunteer and later as a Peer Educator. Currently she is employed as a Project Co-ordinator in the HIV/AIDS Programme. Her work entails working with Peer Educators and students in addressing HIV/AIDS on campus and in the community.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 021 959 3928


Candice Stroud

candice stroudCandice Stroud grew up in Strandfontein in the Western Cape. She matriculated in 2003 and enrolled at the University of the Western Cape for a BA degree, with Psychology as major.  Following this she completed a full time B.A Honours degree in Psychology in 2008.  At present she is pursuing research at Masters level.

Her active involvement in community work started as an undergraduate student. This included being an HIV/AIDS volunteer, volunteering at Lifeline/Childline and being a HIV/AIDS Peer Educator at UWC. Previously, Candice was working at the UWC Student Enrolment Management Unit. She is currently employed as the Community and Schools Liaison Officer in the HIV/AIDS Unit.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 021 959 3928

 


Nelisiwe Maleka


nelisiwenewNelisiwe Maleka is originally from a small village called Acton Homes in KwaZulu Natal. She holds a BSc (Medical BioScience) degree, a BA Honours (Development studies) and a Masters degree in Administration (specialization in Public Policy and Management Programmes). All these were obtained through UWC.

In addition she has a Certificate in Project Management and a Certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation both from the Foundation for Professional Development. Her work experience include working for the City of Cape Town’s HIV/AIDS and TB Program and a PEPFAR fellowship placement with the Olive Leaf Foundation. She is currently responsible for M&E in the unit.
 
_______________________________________________________________
 

Faghmeda Miller

faghmeda newFaghmeda Miller was born and raised in Cape Town, and was the first Muslim woman in South Africa to have publicly disclosed her HIV status in 1996. Faghmeda is currently working as a Health Promoter at the University of the Western Cape, managing the Care & Support group. She is involved in HIV & AIDS awareness programs both on campus and in the broader community.

Faghmeda has done several television programs locally and internationally, and appeared in various magazines, newspapers, documentaries and on radio stations in Cape Town and Johannesburg.  Faghmeda’s documentary “The Malawian kiss” tells her story, and shares how she continues to educate others about the virus. In 2000 Faghmeda received the Femina “Women of Courage” Award and was nominated for “Women that made difference” in their community.
Faghmeda’s message to newly diagnosed HIV positive people, “HIV is not curable but it is manageable therefore do not think it is the end, rather see it as the beginning of a new life, don’t give up, persevere”.

Tel: (021) 959 2445
Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.