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HIV and AIDS: Breaking the Cycle of Vulnerability

Since 2009, Skillshare International has been working across Southern Africa to empower people living with HIV to access support and services to meet their needs.

We have been working across in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa in partnership with six regional and country networks of people living with HIV. Our work aims to empower our partners to tackle stigma and discrimination, influence policy and advocate for the rights of people living with HIV.

In 2007 an estimated 22.5 million people were living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2007. Southern Africa is particularly severely affected and a UNAIDS report (2007) showed it accounted for 35% of all people living with HIV and 32% of new infections and deaths across the world.

What we have achieved: 

Since 2009 we have:

  • Saved up to 2000 lives. We have worked to increase access to support and services for those living with and affected by HIV, this has contributed to a decrease in the mortality rate in all the areas we have been working in. 
  • Provided more than 24,000 orphans and vulnerable children with support. This has included psychosocial support, provision of access to education and through meeting material needs.
  • Established 11 Centres of Excellence which provided over 26,000 people access to information, community based care and support
  • Established and strengthened community groups to support people living with HIV and provide home based care for those in need. These groups have become some of the most dynamic and active community led groups in the area.
  • Stigma and discrimination has been drastically reduced, enabling people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHIV) to access support and services and a greater number of individuals in the community coming forward for testing.
  • The overall well being of Support Group members has been improved, due to increased access to food and nutrition resulting from livelihood activities which enables increased adherence to treatment and improved effectiveness of medication.
  • The programme has successfully empowered local volunteers in the community to enable community led change through support groups and networks.
  • Skillshare’s Coaching for Hope programme has provided a vehicle to reach young people, in particular men who may otherwise not have been engaged in support groups.
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    For more information on our learning from the programme click here.