Connecting local responses around the world
Asha Rekha Mahila Mandali (ARMM) is a CBO of sex workers based at Chirala, Ongole District, Andhra Pradesh. Vibrant CBO leaders of ARMM attended onsite capacity building programme facilitated by CARE-SAKSHAM at Prema Sangham Mahila Mandali (PSMM)-Chittore. Five executive board members and three NGO staff attended four day immersion programme at PSMM-a Learning Site.
Female sex worker’s community of PSMM shared on how they collectivized themselves to find solutions to the problems they face in sex work profession. Community Faculty of PSMM impressed visitors by sharing innovative community mobilization events initiated to promote regular medical check up and enabling environment for the sex workers to access health services and support services for Sex workers living with HIV.
Highly motivated by witnessing the demonstration abilities of fellow sex workers, CMM board members chalked out actions needed to accomplish their dream i.e., to be a ‘Learning Site’. Committed board members of ARMM volunteered to spare their time and resources to chase their ‘Dream’. Within six months of their visit to PSMM, board members of ARMM went on to replicate most of the initiatives they have witnessed.
What impressed me when I visited this CBO: One of the action points developed during their visit to PSMM is to improve presentation skills of board members. ARMM mobilized old OHP projector from their Mother NGO and started practicing presentation skills using OHP sheets. Almost all the board members visit the local field office with their lunch boxes voluntarily and support Peer Educators falling behind in covering their peers for regular medical check up and other HIV prevention services. With the consistent support of the Board members, ARMM could mobilize 88% of the sex workers for Regular medical check up and HIV testing in the last one quarter.
Mr.Hari, Project Manager is a great support to the ARMM-CBO. Though not familiar with CLCP, when I saw in action I found him to be very SALTY. I am sure the board members would reach their dream to be ‘A Learning Site in few months time and continue to share their success story with many more CBOs in Andhra Pradesh.