HIV Care and Support:
working with local community based structures to promote effective home based care, access to treatment and psychosocial support regarding the impact of HIV and Aids. As agreed in consultation with community leadership Sinani aims to focus much of the energy on capacity building of Community Health Care Workers (CHCWs). Many of these structures had already approached Sinani for support with specific requests. We were able to meet these requests around:
- providing regular debriefing of CHCWs, since their workload is high and emotionally demanding
- trauma management and victim empowerment workshops (for their own experiences and emotional load)
- training in trauma management (how to support others in the community)
- linking some of the CHCWs (mainly in Mfume / Thoyana and Embo) with government departments
- linking them with local clinics to distribute medicines
- training in psychosocial support of vulnerable children
- supporting them to help community members access social grants
There have been additional requests to assist them with sensitive topics such as:
- discussing death and dying with families affected by illness
- raising awareness about HIV transmission at a family level
- further support on child care work (mainly with orphaned children)
Working with young men to promote constructive models of masculinity. A new project has been piloted, focusing on young men’s perceptions of masculinity. There is much research to support that social models of masculinity affect gender attitudes and behaviour, HIV risk, exposure to violence etc. Medico International facilitated a one-day workshop with NGOs from other parts of the country. This exposed Sinani to this new topic.Sinani has started using a structured group workshop series from Instituto Promundo in, working with young men. This programme stimulates young men to question traditional ‘norms’ associated with masculinity and promotes both discussion and reflection about the ‘costs’ of traditional masculinity as well as the advantages of gender equitable behaviours, such as better relationships and care for their own health. After internal discussions, a group of 20 young men from Umbumbulu, Richmond and different communities around Durban (INK) were approached for their interest. These young men had been Sinani participants in other programmes and were chosen for their interest to start implementing similar programmes with high school boys or other young men in their areas at a later stage. An initial introductory meeting was held in October and there was much enthusiasm about the project idea. A residential three-day workshop was held from 30 October to 1 November, followed up by a one-day workshop on 17 November. The workshop curriculum proved to be key in raising difficult and painful issues. It created an atmosphere of trust and openness, where issues like ‘male honour’, ‘violence practised against me’, ‘violence I practice’, ‘diversity’ and ‘sexual violence’ could be discussed intensely and compassionately. Some examples of participants’ feedback during the workshop evaluation: “Eye opening”, “Enormous experience”, “Exciting”, “I Feel brave”, “Future leaders” , “Learned to listen”, “Not shy anymore”, “Liberated”, “Beautiful”.It is still early to evaluate the impact of this work, but it promises to be a key focus of the future work on gender aspects and HIV/AIDS. The networking with Instituto Promundo and Engendered Health, who are doing similar work inspired by the workshop curriculum, linked Sinani up to an international network of programmes working with men. A Sinani staff member was invited (and funded) to attend an international training and networking seminar in at the end of 2006.
Young Women’s Project:
Working with young women to promote economic independence and healthy relationships.
Vulnerable Children’s Project:
Supporting community based structures to provide practical and psychosocial support to children affected by loss and HIV and Aids. The Vulnerable Children’s Project of Sinani aims to:
- Make communities safer places for children (reduce levels of organised, community and family violence)
- Promote economic development to ensure that families and children’s basic needs are met
- Promote healthy living (prevention of further transmission of HIV and development of community based support for people affected by HIV and AIDS) and psychosocial support to families most severely affected by HIV, AIDS, poverty and violence
The projects aim to:
- Build community based structures which address the practical and psychosocial needs of children
- Promote family integration and psychosocial support of children by caregivers
- Provide specialised psychosocial support for children worst affected by violence, poverty and HIV/AIDS
The project focuses on work with Community Health Care Workers and CBOs which specialize in working with vulnerable children in their area.
1000 men assemble to make a loudest statement about HIV prevention
An unprecedented 1000 YOUNG AND OLD MEN will assemble at Impandwini Hall in Mbumbulu, South of Durban to make the loudest statement of commitment to act on HIV prevention in their areas of Ugu, eThekwini, Mgungundlovu and uMtshezi. The assembly will take place on the 07TH of November 2010 starting at 10h30 and will be addressed amongst others by Amakhosi, Commissioner for Gender equality and Chair of the Men’s Forum.
- The 1000 men will commit themselves to:
- Preventing HIV spread by reducing risk behaviours that put them and their partners at risk,
- Looking after their own health better,
- Encouraging more men to test and know their HIV status,
- reducing gender-based violence
- working hard at changing the current image of men as drivers of the spread in HIV.
The assembly is a culmination of similar events at local levels both in rural and urban areas of the three districts where local leadership both political and traditional have been encouraging more men to take control of their lives and protect themselves and their partners from HIV.
It was organised by the communities and facilitated by Sinani, a dynamic non-government organization which has earned a positive reputation for collaborative partnerships with communities affected by violence, poverty and HIV and Aids.