Sunday, April 14, 2013

Swedish partners impressed with TOT Project

By Stanley Mpasa

The visit by ADRA Sweden Programs Director Per Boling and Hans Sandberg, formerly of Atlas Copco to Malawi highly inspired the community at Group village Tambala, one of the targeted village communities by the ADRA Malawi Trainer of Trainers Project (TOT) in Mulanje District.

 The visitors expressed excitement   by testimonies and successes of community volunteers who are reaching out to the community with HIV/AIDS messages and linking the affected to service providing centers for counseling, testing, anti-retroviral therapy and psychosocial support.
Per interacting with one of the TOT volunteers

The volunteers narrated that some customs in the area still pose a threat to the fight against HIV/AIDS because they are deeply rooted. Common among the harmful cultural practices was sexual cleansing, were by a widow is forced to have sex with a man in the village to chase bad sprits that might haunt the household in the event of death of the husband.  Many people who practice this custom are at risk of contracting HIV.  The volunteers are however sensitizing community members on the dangers of this custom and are breaking the silence. Recently a man who could not be named revealed how he was secretly hired and sexually cleansed 20 widowed women in the village.  Strangely, when he went for HIV test, he came out positive. He stopped the practice after being counseled by TOT volunteers and he is now helping them to advocate for change.
Fallace Kachingwe, TOT supervisor addressing the gathering 

The visitors were also impressed how the volunteers were coping with transport challenges to visit their clients by forming a village bank to help them meet operational needs.  The bank that started in 2012 has raised over K40, 000 about ($95) through chicken rearing and the money would be used to support volunteers to easily reach their clients.

The visitors were accompanied by ADRA Malawi TOT Project Manager Stanley Mpasa and ADRA Malawi Country Director Claudio Sandoval.

ADRA Sweden is supporting 2000 households in Group Village Tambala alone to bring about individual and society change through the fight against HIV/AIDS.

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