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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
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.
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
- 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.
Small Grants Fund
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.
beneficiaries are grass roots community based organisations whose
interventions are serving communities, supporting PLWHA and incorporating
work around gender and orphans & vulnerable children.
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.
& Regional Workshops
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.
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.
the VSO Zimbabwe fact sheet
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