Records of the Health & Refugee Trust of South Africa (HEART), registered charity, Great Britain

Scope and Content

  • HEART minutes 1988-1994
  • Management Committee minutes 1994
  • Anti-Apartheid Health Committee minutes 1989-1991
  • HEART Working Committee minutes 1992-1994
  • Board of Trustees minutes 1990-1994
  • Financial records 1988-1995
  • General correspondence 1988-1989
  • Nelson Mandela concert correspondence 1993-1994
  • Miscellaneous papers relating to Southern Africa, health, nuclear capacity, AIDS, politics and religion 1985-1992
  • Organisation and trade union correspondence and minutes 1989-1992
  • Rape Crisis records 1992-1994
  • Project and subject files 1984-1995

Administrative / Biographical History

The  Health & Refugee Trust of South Africa (HEART) was established in  1988  as a registered British charity with offices in Northampton Street, London, England. Its aims were 'the relief of poverty, homelessness and other forms of distress, the protection and preservation of mental and physical health, and the advancement of education amongst displaced persons and refugees and their families in and from any part of South Africa.' Common to these aims was the prevention and treatment of common diseases in those who had been disrupted by conflict, apartheid and political injustice in South Africa. In its first year of existence HEART focused on health and education projects for Southern African refugees in the front line states, but the pace of political change in South Africa meant that the charity was able to shift the emphasis of its work to South Africa itself. Projects in the first few years of the charity included workshops in Lusaka, Zambia, on the management of disease attended by representatives of the refugee community and health workers.

Research and education into the sexually transmitted diseases, especially AIDS and HIV; was also undertaken within the refugee community of Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda with funding from the African National Congress (ANC) and International Development Research Centre. A hospital was established in Tanzania with the help of the European Community to promote curative, preventative and primary health care to the returning refugee community of South Africa. An emergency fund for the disaster area in Edenvale, Natal, were some 12,000 internal refugees were seeking safety was also established. A programme for rehabilitating and the reintegration of political ex-detainees who had suffered physical and mental injuries was also introduced. HEART was governed by a group of Trustees who appointed a director and administrator to maintain the charity. The charity received some funding from the African National Congress (ANC) and was also linked to the Anti-Apartheid Movement on whose Health Committee HEART had a representative. Funds were also raised through applications to grant giving bodies, such as the EEC, and through donations from the public. In 2002, the charity was still functioning. Activities involve the Books for South Africa campaign where second hand books are donated along with the postage cost of sending them out to South Africa; and the Health Train which travels South Africa promoting health issues.


The material is arranged into series as shown in the scope and content. Within series, items are generally arranged chronologically.

Access Information

Bona fide researchers only. Written research proposals should be submitted to the Research Collections Manager.

Acquisition Information

Following a visit to the University in the autumn of 1998 by the High Commissioner for South Africa, Her Excellency Ms Cheryl Carolus, a member of the visiting party, George Johannes, Counsellor for the Political Section of the Commission, offered to donate material from his own books and papers to form the basis of a new Special Collection. The original deposit, which consisted mainly of books, pamphlets, serials, and posters, has been supplemented with two additional deliveries of predominantly archive materials.


Please note that the archive is not yet fully catalogued and further materials have yet to be identified.

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom. Further information can be found via the Glasgow Caledonian Research Collections homepage .

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Research Collections Manager

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 1847 procedures

Custodial History

Held by George H Johannes


Accruals expected

Related Material

  • GB 1847 GHJARC-RP Records of Regional Political Committee of the ANC: Hampstead Unit
  • GB 1847 GHJARC-RP Records of Regional Political Committee
  • GB 1847 GHJARC-LA Records of Lawyers Against Apartheid
  • GB 1847 AAMS Records of Anti Apartheid Movement Scottish Committee

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Fonds level description compiled by Compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 13 November 2002 .

Geographical Names