NARI SAKSHAM IN RAJAMANDRY dreams to have partnership with Government to manage Targeted Intervention

NARI SAKSHAM is a CBO promoted by CARE India in SAKSHAM (Strengthening Awareness, Knowledge and Skill for HIV/AIDS Management) Project. The project served as the implementation and learning site for a Community Led Structural Intervention in Andhra Pradesh in India. This project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates foundation was implemented during 2004 to 2009 in Rajamandry town with over 1800 sex workers. The project was successful in reducing the HIV/AIDS vulnerabilities and enhanced rights by collectivising and empowering NARI SAKSHAM a vibrant federation of 11 committed CBOs with 1205 sex workers as members. However one major draw back for NARI SAKSHAM is it failed to convince Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (APSACS) that it has capacities to manage the Targeted Intervention independently.

NARI SAKSHAM is now gearing up to do a self assessment and to get cacpacitated to manage the Targeted Intervention independently. India Community Life Competencies under the leadership of Ms.Ritu is providing support for about five months to NARI SAKSHAM to intoduce strength based approach. The first orientation was held from 5th-7th October 2010 at Rajamandry. 20 Community facilitators were oriented on three tools i.e, SALT, AAR and Dream Building. This orientation was helpful in changing the mindset of the community facilitators of NARI SAKSHAM. 20 Community facilitators now believe that they have strengths to solve their problems. And when they made SALT visits to their communities they started stimulating, appreciating and learning from the community. They said that all through these years ' we have been telling communities what is HIV/AIDS, Condom usage and STI treatment, now we started listening to their strengths and we visit them to learn from them.

In the Dream Building exercise that was conducted with some of the Board members and TI staff, NARI SAKSHAM came up with a strong desire to enable themselves to manage TI independently with the partnership of APSACS. The community members made an assessment of where they are right now and where they dream to reach and what needs to be done to achieve their dream. Detailed action plan with what needs to be done to realise their dream has been worked out by NARI SAKSHAM in the dream building exercise facilitated by Ms.Indu from community life competence group. Having failed in the first attempt, NARI SAKSHAM is now determined to get capacitated with all the skills and systems required to manage the Targeted Intervention with the partnership of APSACS.

Let us hope and wish that NARI SAKSHAM realises their dream.

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Comment by Laurence Gilliot on October 12, 2010 at 11:37pm
Great progress! I can feel the energy of the communities rippling until here in Belgium. I believe that we all have the capacity to realize our dream. Once we know where we want to get and we put our energy into manifesting it... then it realize itself!

Comment by EPHRAIM on October 11, 2010 at 6:56pm
Great achievement Ms Rituu
As my contribution, i will first start by congratulating you on this giant step taken especially in the domain of HIV/AIDS which is a very topical issue.
I will suggest that to evaluate the success of this group in terms of condom use and STI treatment, can we first of all evaluate the prevalence of STI and HIV/AIDS amongst this group?. This will serve as a proxy indicator of whether they themselves are doing what they preach.
you should also note that Behavior change takes time and goes through several stages. To succeed, we must persist and follow up closely and regularly. Do not be tired. Be convince of what you say and sooner or later others will join you.
Accept my greetings and encouragement.
Good day
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on October 11, 2010 at 6:08pm
Dear Anthony,

Thanks for this wonderful sharing! It was a great learning when we compared the dream of the facilitators and dream of the community. While the facilitators are still thinking of ways to mobilize resources, the community already has plans in the pipeline to raise funds. Amazing!

Nari Saksham CBOS have tremendous potential to fulfill their dream. We just need to nurture them lovingly and tenderly.

I fondly remember your energizers, Indu and Anthony.


Comment by Indumathi Ravi Shankar on October 11, 2010 at 5:01pm
Dear Anthony,
The process has been captured well. I found the group very reflective with good team spirit...Very SALTy . I wish all at Nari Saksham the very best in realizing their dream. I enjoyed sharing and learning from all of you.


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