As a young doctor working in hospitals in the Durban area, Halley Stott was deeply concerned to see how patients from the rural areas would come into hospital suffering from TB, and other preventable diseases. They would return home only to be readmitted to hospital within months. He was convinced that with correct information about nutrition and agriculture their situation and their lives could be transformed.
In 1951, he bought land in Qadi/Nyuswa in the Valley of 1,000 Hills Reserve, and built a clinic. Patients flocked to the clinic, and Halley soon established a system of home visits by trained nurses with the aim of keeping community members in their homes as far as was possible.
In 1953, The Valley Trust (TVT) was established as a non-profit organisation and which served as the outreach arm of the clinic into surrounding communities. Today, TVT continues the legacy of working with local communities to enhance their resilience and improve livelihoods.’
build infrastructure, such as roads, community halls, health posts (to bring health services to communities far away from the clinic), sports fields and other structures for the benefit of community members.
The living conditions of households were improved through the establishment of vegetable gardens, the erection of safe outside latrines and through facilitating the availability of piped running water.
The organisation has also served as a centre of learning for those studying in the fields of medicine (in various specialisations), nursing, nutrition and dietetics, agriculture, community development, social work, anthropology and other disciplines.
Students from within South Africa and abroad visit the organisation to conduct research projects or simply to learn how to apply their college education in a practical setting.
The values and philosophical approach espoused from its early days are still upheld by the organisation today. TVT strives to stay responsive to the changing needs of the community it serves and to honour its community partners through seeking genuine, equal-partner collaboration in all aspects of its work. Sustainability is a key consideration in TVT’s operations, and the organisation seeks to partner with elected and traditional leadership as well as with local structures and other stakeholders.