Settlements proudly take their life in their own hands
In January 2007, WHO, UNICEF and the Constellation entered into a two-year partnership. The aim was to stimulate 20 settlements in Papua New Guinea, located in five provinces to develop their AIDS Competence.
20 settlements are on their way towards AIDS Competence. AIDS Competence has brought significant changes in the situation of settlements.
Lucy from Banana Block, Goroka: “We have weeks of HIV training, but people did not directly change their behaviour. These three visits created a real discussion in the community and the trainings can now become more effective."
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In sum, people open up discussions on HIV, address their vulnerabilities and take action. They change their risky behaviour, increase their VCT visits, use condoms more often and reduce stigma and discrimination.
However, facilitators have learnt that the effects of the AIDS Competence approach in PNG go well beyond HIV. Settlements report a stronger community culture, less crime and violence, an increase in reliance on own resources and more individual and group reflection on life.
More than 40 facilitators have been trained in the AIDS Competence Process. Community workers changed their way of working from ‘teaching and preaching’ towards more openness to learning.
The AIDS Competence Process is a scalable PNG-owned process. At least ten organizations have adopted the approach in their own context and included it in their own management plan and budget. The Constellation has submitted to the National AIDS Council a 3-year proposal to scale out AIDS Competence in rural areas.