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Information on RAISA/VSO
Regional AIDS Initiative of Southern Africa/VSO
May 08, 2003

RAISA is a four year initiative seeking to strengthen the response to the HIV & AIDS pandemic in Southern Africa (Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe) by joining forces with government institutions and civil society organisations to provide effective prevention, treatment, care and advocacy for people affected by HIV & AIDS, and to mitigate the personal, social and economic impact of the pandemic.

The essence of RAISA is to provide in-country partners with building blocks which strengthen their capacity to develop their multi-sectoral programmes and to increase their impact. The tools which RAISA provides can include skilled volunteers, training, small grants and opportunities to network and create national and regional links between AIDS Service Organisations. Partnerships lie at the heart of all of VSO and RAISA’s work. Our partnerships are with employers of VSO volunteers, with government departments, local and international AIDS organisations and with donors and supporters.

RAISA Tools:

RAISA responds to the identified needs of partners in the specified countries. Through this cooperation, a key strategy of VSO & RAISA is to place low cost, long-term skilled and experienced volunteers with government institutions, community based groups and non-governmental organisations in the areas of human resource deficiency upon their request and based upon identified needs. VSO volunteers come from a wide range of professional disciplines and work with their in-country colleagues to share skills and strengthen the organisations’ ability to manage and deliver their services more effectively.

  • VSO uses the term ‘mainstreaming’ to describe the overall concept of a multi sectoral response to HIV & AIDS in sectors where the pandemic may not ordinarily be addressed, e.g. teachers tackling prevention issues in classrooms or community extension workers raising awareness of good nutrition for HIV+ people as part of a rural livelihoods programme.
  • Other volunteers are placed in capacity building placements, these placements are either be with NGOs or government structures to build organisational capacity to implement better quality and more effective HIV & AIDS inventions. All volunteer experiences will be used to feed into RAISA’S global learning around appropriate interventions methodologies.
  • A few volunteer placements are currently supported by the private sector (notably Barclays and Accenture) who are also keen to raise awareness among their staff about HIV & AIDS and to support VSO’s work.

VSO-RAISA Small Grants Fund
The RAISA Small Grants Fund (SGF) is a tool to provide support for capacity building and integration of HIV & AIDS activities by supporting innovative projects. The SGF operates in each country providing grants of up to £1,000 to enable partner organisations to build capacity, initiate training or undertake advocacy work. Small grants have proved to be particularly effective in being able to support community based organisations that are too small to access bigger funding or additional human resources.

The primary beneficiaries are grass roots community based organisations whose interventions are serving communities, supporting PLWHA and incorporating work around gender and orphans & vulnerable children.

Exchange Programme
In order to share learning and build regional links, RAISA arranges study tours and exchanges between our partners. RAISA encourages partners to make links either nationally or regionally to provide a forum for learning. If you have identified key learning needs for your organisation or if you have positive experiential learning to share with others please contact your local Country Co-ordinator (see contacts at end) for more information.

National & Regional Workshops
RAISA also shares best practice and learning on HIV & AIDS through national and regional workshops. Every year each country office organises a workshop based on a particular theme. Additionally there is one regional workshop also based on a set theme. The purpose of the workshops is to bring together both partners who are already involved in the specified theme or those who would like to become involved, to share lessons learnt and suggest ways forward. Contact your co-ordinator to be kept up to date on when and what the upcoming workshop theme will be.

Research & Materials
RAISA works to support and improve existing material which includes the development and production, procurement and dissemination of HIV & AIDS materials (e.g. training manuals, information, videos, posters.) The project also develops and disseminates its own materials, for example training for development workers on how HIV & AIDS issues impact on development and how HIV & AIDS issues can be integrated into diverse development activities. Each country has a Resource Centre with a specific HIV & AIDS section, contact your co-ordinator for further information.

RAISA Contacts

Terina Stibbard

Regional RAISA Co-ordintor

Pretoria, South Africa

+27 12 320 3885

Lorna Robertson

UK RAISA Co-ordinator

London, UK

+ 44 208 780 7684

Steve Tahuna

County Co-ordinator

Lilongwe, Malawi

+ 265 1 726315

Maria De Lourdes Teodoro

RAISA Programme Officer

Maputo, Mozambique

+ 258 1 302594

Lisa Davidson

Country Co-ordinator

Windhoek, Namibia

+ 264 61 237513

Carine Munting

Country Co-ordinator

Johannesburg, South Africa

+ 27 11 880 1773

Chad Kalobwe

Country Co-ordinator

Lusaka, Zambia

+ 260 1 224965

Nesta Hatendi

Country Co-ordinator

Harare, Zimbabwe

+ 263 4 791959/67

Naseeem Normahomed

RAISA Admin & Finance Assistant

Pretoria, South Africa

+ 27 12 320 3885

Web contact

Visit the VSO Zimbabwe fact sheet

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