UNV – MONUSCO HIV/AIDS Unit Implement Effective HIV Prevention Programmes Through CSO Training
The United Nations Volunteers [UNV] in
collaboration with MONUSCO HIV/AIDS Unit is paving the way for Non-Governmental
Organizations [NGOs] and civil society organizations (CSO) in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo [DRC] by providing a bold approach to combating and
managing HIV and AIDS through lessons from training workshops.
It is obvious that the effective fight
against HIV and AIDS depend on a trained and motivated workforce to carry out
the services needed to achieve tangible results in this area.
In the DRC, MONUSCO HIV/AIDS Unit is
working with Government partners, NGOs, and the civil society to help the
private sector establish sustainable preventive surveillance in the domain of
HIV and AIDS.
To achieve this goal, they support a wide
range of training and mentorship activities, including helping NGOs to
establish their own training programmes and to foster sustainability of
As prevention remains one of the highest
priorities of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping [DPKO] in trouble
regions of the world, UNV and MONUSCO, in a joint initiative, recently
organized a training workshop for 25 representatives of local NGOs and CSO
members of the Volunteers’ Platform in Goma, the North Kivu’s capital in DRC.
Under UNV coordination, the Volunteers’ Platform gathers CSOs and NGOs active
in North Kivu. The Platform is aimed at strengthening networking between its
members, their visibility through common activities and strengthening their
capacities to implement sustainable development projects.
The workshop covered among other topics,
basic knowledge on HIV and AIDS, risk reduction counseling, voluntary testing
policies, Rights and duties of people living with HIV, fight against stigma and
discrimination relating to HIV etc.
The workshop organized by UNV and
facilitated by MONUSCO HIV/AIDS Unit, was also aimed at equipping participants
with the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure access to HIV prevention,
treatment, care, and support services and raise awareness in their community.
‘‘The lessons we have learned are
interesting and we hope the training, together with the skills imparted, will make
a timely intervention within our community’’, says one participant.
According to her, the skills acquired at
the workshop would also contribute to a more compassionate approach by
community workers when dealing with the affected and infected persons.
‘’If we, community workers and other
stakeholders in this domain can adopt the HIV and AIDS management as presented
during our training, the infection rate would go down’’, she recalls,
confirming that henceforth they would be able to handle stigma and discrimination
reasonably in their various communities.
The voluntary partnership came to fruition
through the initiative of Alexandra de Bournonville, Public Information Officer
of the UNV programme in DRC, who said UNV was thrilled at the completion of the
training for the representatives of the NGOs, who will implement effective HIV
and AIDS in their communities.
‘’We could still organize more trainings of
this kind’’, she says. ‘’Although the time was a bit short, I am satisfied with
the content and the way the training was conducted’’, she added, confirming
that similar workshops will be organized elsewhere in the near future.
At the end of the training workshop, some
participants presented individual recommendations, including more training on
how to improve psychological support to HIV positive persons and more lessons
on how to tackle the issue of stigma and discrimination affecting those living
Obviously, there is hope that participants
will use the adequate knowledge acquired during the training to expand their
activities to the entire North Kivu Province and ultimately elsewhere in other
communities in the DRC.