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LGBTI people in Southern Africa face a range of challenges such as economic marginalisation, stigma & discrimination and limited rights awareness or access to resources to enforce basic rights. To address these challenges, a burgeoning LGBTI movement exists in sub-Saharan Africa, which is made up of local LGBTI activists. PV’s work in support of LGBTI organisations are mainly within the area of Capacity Building/OD of the emerging grass roots organisation. PV believes in doing this work in cooperation with partners who offer comparative advantages in the areas of Service Delivery, Advocacy and Grantmaking, through this collaborative approach we are able to provide a range of elements of support.
Positive Vibes’ approach to community systems centres on self-help groups and the institutions and organisations around them. PV’s main area of responses falls under the inclusive sphere of what is now called Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention, which includes reproductive health, treatment, eMTCT, Paediatric HIV and psychosocial care. Communities are at the centre of the PHDP idea and have meaningful and effective roles in all facets of the programme.
After years of work, which resulted in a markedly higher capacity of self-help groups -in the form of increased self-efficacy, health and rights literacy, and strengthened mutual support - it gradually became clear that there is a need to increase access to and uptake of improved quality health and other relevant care and support services by PLHIV through improved linkages between the community and health systems. This will be a core focus for PVs work with PLHIV in the coming years.
Adolesents Living With HIV (ALHIV) represent a growing proportion of people living with HIV in Namibia. APLHIV experience low self-esteem and struggle, more than most people their age, to fit in to society. Many APLHIV have lost their natural parents, resulting in an insecurity that can be exacerbated by the reluctance of many parents / guardians to inform them of their HIV status. All of this contributes to a vicious cycle of exclusion and marginalisation.
PV has developed a special set of methodologies that simultaneously work with Youth and their caregivers to 1) support APLHIV to gain in knowledge, self-esteem, self-efficacy and self-reliance; 2) support families and communities to be more supportive.
tailored capacity development for lgbti organisations:
Capacity development is provided through a mentoring process and via individual support to leaders, staff members and activists to develop a variety of competencies within organisations. These are related to development of general operations through and a variety of organisational development methods and program implementation strengthening.
‘Looking In – Looking Out (LILO) approach:
LILO is a strong empowerment tool, focussing on the individual within the group, drawing on individual experience to develop the group and undertake collective action. Working with emerging grassroots LGBTI organisations and LGBTI individuals, Positive Vibes provides a facilitated process to support LGBTI individuals to reflect on their lives, and to move forward taking action. The workshop approach aims to move individuals towards a positive LGBTI identity, a strong self-worth and a regard for themselves as LGBTI individuals and ultimately to advocate for their rights.
The process involves a personalised approach to exploring gender identity and sexual orientation. It involves a facilitated process of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people by LOOKING BACK on their lives; LOOKING IN to some of the things that are happening internally; LOOKING OUTWARDS to the world around them and then LOOKING FORWARD in order to move confidently and positively into the future. The workshop assumes that participants have deep personal knowledge and experiences that can be shared with others to assist one another with the common challenges that many LGBTI individuals face. The process is designed to unpack feelings, needs and desires, and to help participants make choices and plans for themselves going forward.
LGBTI counselling curriculum:
Through implementation and roll out of the Positive Vibes, LILO methodology, a need for counselling to support this personalisation process became apparent. Although many community-based counsellors are available in Southern Africa, few have the attitude, capacity and knowledge to adequately provide counselling support to help individuals deal with LGBTI specific issues and cases. There is a need to develop basic course as a supplementary component for already trained counsellors with LGBTI specific content and develop a network of councillors to be able to provide this specialised support. This area of work is currently being explored.
“Voice” and advocacy methodologies for LGBTI organisations:
PV will be adapting some of its methodologies from working with PLHIV and appropriating methodologies from the LGBTI sector offering emerging LGBTI organisations a selection of effective tools for dealing with stigma and discrimination. This will help develop capacities in the area of advocacy at community and national and other levels.
Positive Vibes works to stimulate grass root responses to the HIV epidemic in 12 of the 14 Namibian regions. To do this, PV has been working with and through support groups of PLHIV, while more recently also recruiting directly through the national health facilities. The project is holistic in its approach, looking at SRH, HIV prevention, Treatment and impact mitigation in an integrated manner.HIV & ME
This participatory workshop provides a safe and supportive space for addressing individual concerns about HIV and AIDS. Participants identify the problems they face when it comes to dealing with HIV and come up with action plans to address these problems at a personal, family and community level. Group action plans can also be facilitated if needed.Body Mapping
Body Mapping was developed by the University of Cape Town, the so-called Memory Box Project. Participants work together under the guidance of an artist and counsellor, to draw outlines of their bodies. The participants then paint their body outlines in a way that illustrates how HIV has impacted upon their bodies and/or their lives. The paintings can be displayed, each with a short narrative, composed by the participants, explaining what the images represent, and how they relates to the story of their lives, the stories behind the paintings. Through the stories, issues relating to stigma, discrimination and treatment will emerge, providing a focus that allows participants to devising strategies for addressing these issues.Video Facilitation
When facilitated well, video is a powerful tool for opening up discussion among audiences, allowing viewers to empathise and associate with those in the films. Video facilitation training is ideal for any group or organisation involved in, or wishing to carry out awareness-raising and outreach work.
Stigma and Discrimination is a workshop that allows participants to explore, understand and address the various facets of HIV and AIDS related stigma and discrimination
PHDP is a participatory workshop that explores ways of enhancing reproductive health and well-being from the perspective of people living with or affected by HIV, including issues around alcohol abuse and general nutrition. The workshop also contains a straightforward, in-depth, lay person’s guide to the complex arena of HIV treatment.
Gender & HIV is a set of participatory tools and methods that enable people to explore gender and sexuality within the context of HIV.