Nonceba @ bua@AC - 09/2009

The AIDS Consortium is a human rights organisation aimed at promoting a non discriminatory response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic based on people’s basic human rights as enshrined in South Africa’s constitution. Through capacity building, networking, information dissemination and community engagement programs, The AIDS Consortium helps CBOs NGOs, FBOs and individuals coordinate and strengthen their response to HIV and AIDS in their communities.

AC has monthly forums or sessions called bua@AC, these sessions encourage networking, comradeship and skills transfer, debates and discussions that challenge the myths, beliefs and behaviours that continue to drive incidence, human rights violations and stigma and discrimination. Being part of these meetings is such a mind blowing experience; especially because you get to hear from other people, their experiences and challenges but you also hear of success stories.

Nonceba reports that the theme for the month was Monitoring & Evaluation of programmes.

This month’s focus was on measuring the work that we do in our communities and how successful are we in making sure that we are achieving our goals. So this month’s bua session was challenging organisations and showing them the importance of monitoring and evaluating their projects or programmes.

They also introduced a program called  SOWETO CARE SYSTEM database software, which is designed to facilitate administration of NPOs, focussing on home-based care, orphans and vulnerable children, and voluntary counselling and testing. Clients, employees, home-visits, client needs and programs can be entered and updated, and comprehensive reports for management and donors are easily generated. The system is easy to use and flexible

About the HEROES Campaign

The “HEROES campaign” is an AIDS Consortium initiative responding to the negative perception of classifying HIV and AIDS as an outcome of sexual excess and low moral character. This campaign is a call to prominent people to ‘come out’ and normalise HIV, hence the campaign pay off line – HIV…share your journey. This month’s hero Mettah Nyathi who is a traditional healer who has been living with HIV for more than four years. As a traditional healer,  being HIV positive herself, she sees her role in her community as that of bridging the gap between traditional and western ways of healing. She has been on ARV therapy for more than two years and is a witness to what ARVs can achieve – “There is no traditional medicine that can treat HIV, but ARV work – they boost the immune system” she says. Mettah is very determined to drive more collaboration between traditional healers, NGOs and clinic in her community!

This month’s hero sparked an intensive debate during the session on ARV’s and traditional medicine, unfortunately she wasn’t present at the meeting because she couldn’t miss the bus to go fetch her monthly medication from the clinic.

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