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In 2010 we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary.  A lot has changed in the 10 years we have been working to improve the lives of those affected and infected with HIV and AIDS in South Africa.


Whilst South Africa now has the largest treatment programme in the world, with about 700,000 people receiving ARV drugs and a further 760,000 estimated to qualify for treatment under the current national guidelines, there is unfortunately limited evidence that the rate of new HIV infections has slowed (Source: No simple formula for universal access.  August 2009).


Topsy is dedicated to working with our partners to ensure as many people in the areas we serve know about our comprehensive services and are able to access them.    2010 has started well for us in this respect -  we have now signed a Service Level Agreement with the Mpumalanga Department of Health and the first consignment of ARV medication arrived at Topsy on 18 January 2010.  Medication for opportunistic infections is to follow shortly.  This will decrease our reliance on donor funding for ARV’s and other medications. We are excited to have entered into a formal partnership with Government and will work hard to continue assisting individuals infected and affected with HIV and AIDS.


This year we will be holding special events and activities to mark our anniversary.  Now more than ever we need to ensure we can secure the funds necessary for our work to continue.  We ask you to join us in our endeavors.  


Ogilvy Johannesburg has been awarded one of the highest honours at the 57th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival this past weekend, winning a rare and coveted Cannes Gold Lion award in the Film category for its highly emotive campaign for HIV/Aids relief organisation The Topsy Foundation.

This is the first time in 11 years that a South African agency has won a Gold Cannes Film Lion - the most elite and challenging of all categories at the Festival. The last time gold touched our shores was in 1999, when Ogilvy picked up the accolade for its Eno antacid commercial. This win marks only the seventh Film Gold for a South African agency since the awards, often referred to as the Oscars of the advertising industry, were launched in 1954.

The winning ad features the true story of Selinah, an Aids sufferer who experiences the ravaging effects of her disease being reversed over a period of 90 days through the administration of anti-retrovirals (ARVs). Each day of her recovery was documented by the team, who witnessed Selinah's incredible metamorphosis over the three month period first hand. 

The remarkable piece is one of many fundraising initiatives developed by Ogilvy and is testimony to the relationship between the agency and the Topsy Foundation that stretches back 10 years.

Silvia de Jager, Executive Director at the Topsy Foundation says "It is not often that campaigns make such a tangible difference in people's lives, and we are just so humbled that Selinah's story of hope and recovery has also captured the hearts of an international audience."

According to Ogilvy Johannesburg's Fran Luckin, Executive Creative Director, "The fact that a campaign that is so close to all our hearts has won Gold, unanimously voted by the judges and so positively received by the audience, is incredibly rewarding. This was a labour of love for all of us, and it wouldn't have been possible without the dedication of the production crew, who filmed Selinah every day for three months, and the commitment of the creative team who saw their vision literally come alive before their eyes."

The win comes on the back of a number of stellar performances by Ogilvy Johannesburg at Cannes in recent years. In 2007 and 2008, the agency was ranked the number one in the country, and at Cannes in 2009, was the most awarded Ogilvy agency in the world. This year, in addition to the Gold, Ogilvy Johannesburg also won Bronze Lions for two other long-standing clients, Multichoice and Exclusive Books. Mnet Channel O's ‘Tree' execution, picked up a Bronze for Design. The second Bronze was awarded in the Outdoor category for Exclusive Books' ‘Peep Holes' campaign.

"These awards are testament to the fact that South African creativity can compete with the best in the world," says Luckin. "We continue to be obsessed about liberating brands by producing great work that delivers great results."


As the world comes together to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS today, global attention is increasingly shifting to South Africa - the country that the UNAIDS Outlook 2010 Report described as one of the five that stand out as being able to finally break the trajectory of the global AIDS epidemic. 



This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Topsy Foundation, an organisation working with commitment and efficiency to create this change. Topsy has grown in response to the great need in our country, which with only 0.7% of the world's population, is home to 17% of the world's HIV positive people,(UNAIDS). Every year, Topsy has a life-changing impact on tens of thousands of people living with the devastating consequences of this disease in critical poverty. 



Founded in 2000, its original mission was to care for children orphaned by HIV and AIDS. Today, Topsy partners with five rural communities at the crossroads of Mpumalanga, Free State and Gauteng in the fight against HIV and AIDS, offering a web of life-saving medical and social relief services. As the recent UNAIDS Global Report 2010 reminds us, less than 40% of eligible HIV positive people in South Africa are on antiretroviral (ARV) therapy. So one can immediately recognise the need to celebrate the work of non-profit organisations like Topsy who are freely providing this treatment. 


Currently Topsy has more than 1,700 patients on ARV therapy at their free Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Care Clinic, (an increase of 200% since last year). Another initiative, the Home-Based Care Project where people are supported in their homes by Topsy's social and medical staff, has also seen a 100% increase in beneficiaries. Through the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Project the lives of over 1,600 children per month are improved through a variety of interventions. There are a number of other initiatives that exist to further assist people.  


Silvia de Jager, Topsy's Executive Director, says of the non-profit's overwhelming success over the last decade. "Through the commitment and dedication of our staff we are able to offer optimum care to our beneficiaries.  The belief and support of our donors past and present has enabled us to plan for a future in which we can continue to offer efficient and effective services.  We hope to create more partnerships in the future as the need for our services continues to grow." 


A highlight during this milestone year is Topsy's multi-award-winning 'Selnah' commercial, created by Ogilvy JHB and Egg Films, which features a real Topsy beneficiary - Selinah. Selinah was intimately filmed over 90 days as her health was dramatically restored with ARV therapy. 

Dr Jana Oosthuizen, Topsy's Medical Director was on the treatment team. She tells us, "Selinah is no exception to the rule, she is one brave woman that was willing to let us into her life to be able to tell the story of an HIV infected person in South Africa. There are many 'Selinah's'. People who have lost all hope for the future, but through the grace of God could be helped by Topsy to get access to antiretroviral therapy in time to reverse the progression of the disease. "


Thanks to the very lovely and stylish people at Metrodeco tea rooms in Brighton, Topsy now has its own tea.  This bespoke blend has been made with Rooibos and Earl Grey to create a caffeine-free twist on a classic tea.  Another reason it tastes so good is that £1.50 from the sale of each bag of 100g of loose leaf tea goes directly to The Topsy Foundation.


The tea can be purchased in the store or directly from us by emailing us.  The packages of loose leaf tea retail at £4.75 (+ £1.50 postage and packing if purchased online).


Metrodeco is  the UK's only 1930s Parisian-style tea shop. Here, you can enjoy refinement and luxuriate in opulent surroundings while enjoying one of their 18 bespoke blends of fine tea.


Metrodeco also contains two floors of elegant art deco and 20th century furniture for sale, including a range of tables, chairs and cabinets by renowned designers, such as Epstein, Eames and Wegner.



Drinks reception at Simons Muirhead & Burton in the heart of Soho celebrates the fantastic work of the Topsy Foundation.


On Thursday 30th June 2011, Simons Muirhead & Burton Solicitors (SMB) a leading multi-disciplined law firm, held a fundraising event for The Topsy Foundation that raised over £5,000 for our project work in South Africa.


The evening included a silent auction (with lots including flights to the US), musical entertainment, a screening of Topsy's powerful short film, and a brief word from some fascinating speakers including our Patron Charlotte Church.


The Foundation is particularly appreciative of the support shown for our work on this evening and the generous hospitality provided by the staff of SMB.  

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