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SAfAIDS receives best practice recognition
Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS)
April 04, 2013

The Regional AIDS Training Network (RATN) held the Second Capacity Building Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa from the 19th-21st March, 2013. Themed, “Turning the Tide on HIV and Health Through Capacity Building”, over 200 delegates from 20 countries across the world attended the summit. The summit sought to catalyze and advance knowledge about how to make capacity building work for HIV response and achieve health targets at community, national and regional levels by 2015 focusing on Eastern and Southern Africa.

Countries showcased their capacity building initiatives through abstracts, posters and skills building presentations. These were shared by 32 organisations from seven countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In his opening remarks the RATN, Executive Director, Kelvin Storey indicated that the capacity building initiatives in the global response to HIV and AIDS has been an exciting but challenging journey. “We want to promote and enhance collaboration in order to effectively translate and expand on the successes achieved so far in capacity building for HIV and health delivery”, he said.

Cultural norms and traditions play a role in how communities function as they create the ethos of a community. To address some of these, SAfAIDS has been working with traditional and religious leaders under the Rock Programme to develop their skills so that they are capacitated to prevent HIV and Gender Based Violence (GBV) in their communities. At the RATN summit, SAfAIDS rendered a skills building session on “Engaging Traditional and Religious Leadership in Accelerating HIV and GBV Prevention through Culture-Transformation Strategies, engaging the SAfAIDS “Rock" Integrated Model”.

SAfAIDS equipped participants with innovative skills and tools to engage traditional leadership to harness their role in promoting integrated GBV and HIV prevention. Upon completion of the skills building sessions, over 200 participants were given an opportunity to cast their secret ballot vote of the best initiative that was presented well and is promising to be the best practice. SAfAIDS skills building session was voted by the participants as the number one most outstanding capacity building initiative and the organisers (RATN) presented a certificate of recognition to SAfAIDS. “We are delighted to be recognized for the work we are doing under the Rock Programme. We believe that we can achieve great strides through capacity building initiatives that engage leaders to transform their communities in the HIV response”, said SAfAIDS Executive Director, Lois Chingandu.

Visit the SAfAIDS fact sheet

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