After having salt visits to the truck drivers and getting their views and their dream towards a free HIV/AIDS generation it emerged that we are only targeting the truck drivers alone and leaving behind their spouses who are not spared either by the pandemic.Some drivers said that they themselves have done everything to abstain or use Condom if it is a must ,but back at home their spouses have friends who they move around with and they don't use preventive measures to protect themselves .So the drivers were so disturbed and they were not able to know when this happens because most of the time they are away. They were worried because if the spouse gets infected , all the blame will go to the truck driver since everyone will think he is the one who is away with sex workers, a claim which was true and now they were asking how their spouses can get this information and be educated on how to prevent themselves. This debate is the one which triggered the process of involving the truck drivers spouses in our salt visits and the first one was held in the house of one truck driver where we invited ten others with their spouses .
What transpired there was so encouraging and the stories we heard were so touching, each one pointing a finger to the other without knowing about his/her action was not the wright one.
After the visit we were invited again by everyone who was there inquiring to learn more and one resolution was made by the spouses-- :That whenever the husband leaves the house for the journey they will always make sure there is a pack of Condom in the bag of their husbands and this was unanimously passed by all. This was a great Community competence which helped to bring together two groups of people doing one thing in common without involving the other and always blaming the other.
A self assessment followed and the outcome was great.


SAMUEL
K.L.D.T.D.UNION

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Comment by Bobby Zachariah on November 10, 2010 at 6:14am
Cultivation of a safe environment in which truth telling, reconciliation and growth can happen is central to an authentic community process.

Please do share how you learned from your experience and proceeded further.

I salute your courage and persistence to keep digging deeper, Samuel.

Bobby
Comment by Petronilla B. Khamusali on November 9, 2010 at 2:00pm
This is great, involving truck drivers' wives during the salt visits is part of the solution. My only worry is how to get these women in a central place considering that these truck drivers come from different parts of the country! However, Keep up with the good work.
Comment by YERUVA ANTHONY REDDY on November 6, 2010 at 11:50am
Wow a great gesture from the wives of the truckers and similarly by truckers themselves. We often brand group of people but good to see that truckers do realise the potential risk of their wives when they are away and the concern they have to protect them from HIV infection. Good work keep it up SAMUEL
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on November 3, 2010 at 11:45pm
Dear Samuel,

Focusing on certain groups with exclusion of others intensifies the burden of HIV transmission. Thanks for sharing how inclusion of all groups is essential in an effective HIV response. Your story illustrates the power of community conversation and discussion.

Inspired by community response, the Constellation is organising Community Action day on 1st December. We have also prepared a toolkit. Would you like to facilitate the day with your community where you can discuss the community strengths, do the self assessment and upload the community action plan. You may join the group http://aidscompetence.ning.com/group/communityactionday

Thanks.

Rituu

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