On World AIDS Day: starting where communities are

The Dialogue Programme’s community conversations focus on communities

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December 1, 2009 – As part of its ongoing work with communities throughout South Africa about the awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS, the Nelson Mandela Foundation convened 120 dialogues this year – 12 conversations in 10 communities in all nine provinces.

These “community conversations” adopted by the Dialogue Programme of the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2007, provide a safe platform for people to discuss the key drivers of HIV/AIDS, their deepest concerns about how the epidemic has affected the community fabric and suggested solutions on how to deal with the epidemic within their communities.

Within a year of its establishment, the HIV/AIDS dialogue programme operated in 10 communities: Galeshewe, Kliptown, Soshanguve, KwaLanga, Mhluzi, Lerome, Mthatha, KwaMakhutha, Giyani and Thaba Nchu. These communities set up community action teams to take forward their decisions and make the dialogue process sustainable.

This year the Foundation trained facilitators from each of the 10 action committees to use the tools of the Community Capacity Enhancement methodology, which guides the community conversations to assist communities to take ownership of the process.

The facilitators continue to receive support from the Foundation and experienced employees from the Foundation were on hand at the conversations to assist the local facilitators. Plans for community conversation work in HIV/AIDS for 2010 are well advanced.