Projects > Capacity Building for HIV Support Groups


This Project was funded by the Stephen Lewis Foundation and began in August 2009.  It has been continued during 2013 with funding provided by the Foundation directly to the Siyanqoba and Amandawe groups, and from an allocation in the Lotteries grant.

The goal of this project was to develop a structured modular training course that UVHAA could implement to empower staff members and support group leaders on management of local, holistic HIV programmes and related developmental programmes.

The long term goal of this course was to enhance the skills of the local communities so that they are able to care for one another and establish the necessary structures to manage their own affairs. UVHAA always intended to have a fixed term of existence, initially set to end in December 2010, then extended to 2013 and finally now to December 2014. It is envisioned that at the end of this time, community organisations would take over the management of HIV programmes in their own geographical areas and indeed this has happened with the Amandawe group. 

This project not only brings much needed expertise into community ownership of HIV programmes, but it also helps UVHAA as an organisation systematically transition out of communities faster. In order to sustain new knowledge the sessions will utilise Problem Based Learning and consist of material that has a practical application. This course particularly benefits women. In UVHAA’s target area, women comprise 99% of the support group members. By enhancing the training they receive, the better equipped they will be to take on increasing levels of responsibility within local governing committees. 

Specific Activities

The initial course was developed in partnership with local service provider Scottbay Health Training Consultants.  Modelled on the “District Health Management Training Manual” produced by the Centre for Health and Social Studies (CHESS) in Durban in 1998 we were fortunate to have advice from Professor Hugh Philpott. 

Subsequent training has been provided by UVHAA and has covered topics requested by participants; topics included business planning, legal aspects of NGOs, individual roles and responsibilities, communication and report writing, and information from the Department of Health.