Because making informed decisions isn't just an isolated problem that happens in schools, ResponsibleME also takes the community at large to task through specialised Family Support Programs (FSP).
Building on the school-based intervention, the FSPs assist parents in developing more open relationships with their children, thereby facilitating the disclosure of HIV status, be it parent to child, or child to parent.
We enable more effective family communications by providing parents, community members and other relevant stakeholders with the skills necessary to create a safe, open, trusting and above all supportive environment.
The workshops help to coach and prepare parents to develop better communication skills in order to create a safe, open, trusting and supportive environment within their households.
Through promoting dialogue for disclosure and support, we tackle the tough issues such as cultural barriers, fear of stigma, trust, gender violence and HIV&AIDS prevention and management in 3-hour workshop sessions.
Key focus areas of the various sessions include:
- The difference between HIV and AIDS
- Modes of transmission
- Prevention and how to reduce the rate of HIV infection
- Stages of infection - the lifecycle of the virus
- Treatment - ARVs, adherence and effectiveness
- Importance of using a condom when infected
- Myths and facts about HIV&AIDS
- Breaking stigma
- Disclosure - the importance of disclosing to spouse, partner, family, children, friends and co-workers
- Tools and tips to facilitate disclosure
- Care and support for the infected and affected people
The groups actively participate in discussion through ask-and-answer sessions as well as group activities. The following comments are representative of the feedback received during these engagements:
- The content made the participants feel comfortable and encouraged many people to disclose their status
- Through the success of the workshops, many people wanted follow-up sessions
- SGB members in attendance highlighted the need for this information and more similar workshops
- Afterwards, people discussed passing on the message, disclosing and testing
- For most participants, it was their first time attending a workshop on HIV&AIDS
- People related personal stories which was very meaningful and impactful