The Constellation partnership with UNAIDS-NACA-Humana in Botswana to develop community-owned actions on HIV.
Botswana’s people continue to confront a severe HIV epidemic with 22.8% of adults aged 15-49 years old living with HIV* (UNAIDS Aidsinfo 2017). According to the National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA), many factors contribute to the epidemic, including multiple and concurrent sexual partnerships, intergenerational sex, alcohol and high-risk sex, stigma and discrimination, and gender-based violence (PEPFAR 2016).
Through this partnership the SALT/CLCP approach from The Constellation was adapted into the national program named CATCH: Communities Acting Together to Control HIV in Botswana. CATCH was designed to expand grass-roots HIV responses under traditional leadership and community-engaged planning and action.
From 2015 to 2016 three international coaches intervened in 5 villages. During a series of support visits, they introduced step by step the SALT/CLCP process. During every step in this process, CATCH opened the space for community members to trust each other and share information, creating a vital, community-specific dialogue.
- Working with the SALT CLCP approach allowed traditional leaders (Dikgosi’s) to be involved and, for the first time, to have a voice in the response to HIV/AIDS. Now they could bring in their own strengths, leadership and wisdom to motivate their villagers to fight HIV/AIDS.
- Dreambuilding is empowering. The villagers not only envisaged an AIDS free community, but one where health in a holistic way is available for all. One of the actions they carried out was to organise a health market where good health practices were exchanged.
“The Dream Building process helps us to accept,
appreciate and own the challenges we have and commit
to ways of addressing them”, said one of the participants.
- A common tracking system kept the villagers together around their target: Villagers set up billboards to showcase the village dream and to track progress on self-identified actions at the entrance of the villages.
Pictures credit : Ricardo Walters (The Constellation coach, October 2015)
Place : Tlokweng, Botswana
Programme : CATCH (Communities Acting Together to Control HIV)
Population : 5 villages
Keywords : Botswana, HIV, Health, partnership, programme, UNAIDS, dreambuilding, empowerment, ownership, self-assessment, leaders