Towards Zero Tolerance: Sharing Knowledge to Halt the Spread of HIV (Page 2)
Putting Leadership at the Front-line in Ending Impunity for Sexual Violence (Page 4)
Tanzania: Supporting Small-scale Farmers to Build Skills in Food Preservation (Page 3)
December 2011 Newsletter
Defending Rights. Promoting Justice
The This quarterly newsletter published by Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD) provides updates of Africa-wide development, activities and partnerships.
Bringing Hard-to-Reach Communities Tto the Centre in the Fight against HIV Thousands of experts including a team from ACORD met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where the 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA 2011) took place from 4th to 8th December 2011. The theme for ICASA 2011 is "Own, Scale-up, Sustain". The conference provided a forum for exchange of experiences and lessons learnt in Africa and around the globe in responding to HIV. It also facilitated consolidation of experiences gained in making evidence-based and informed responses. ACORDâ€™s purpose was to bring to the attention of the participants and the world at large, the voices of the hard to reach communities in Africa. "The event provided us with an opportunity to send a strong message against stigma and discrimination directed at people living with HIV and AIDS", noted Ellen Bajenja of ACORD. The hard to reach communities are groups of people who are not reached by critical services because of factors including geographical inaccessibility, pastoralist groups and people living on islands, those excluded by national policies, economically vulnerable populations including women and children, communities with deeply rooted cultural beliefs related to HIV infections and sexuality, populations affected by natural disasters and war causing displacement, and exclusion through cultural and racial prejudices. ACORD's MAIN Progamme within the countries of the Great Lakes Region (including Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) is working towards zero HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths. This is done partly through addressing the needs of the hard to reach yet most at risk populations and including them in national responses.
West Africa: Fears of Food Shortage as Drought in Sahel Worsens Millions of people are facing serious risks of food shortage in 2012 as the drought in West African countries of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger continues to take its toll. Already, relief agencies are raising the red flag and warning Governments that if no response measures are taken, the situation will evolve into becoming similar to the Horn of Africa crisis. But according to Seif Sow of Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), there is some response taking place. Using local coping mechanisms, herders have begun moving and countries are stocking up. ACORD teams in the affected countries are already involved with communities, partners and governments on the ground to mitigate as much as possible the drought crisis and to develop copying mechanisms. Aggressive involvement by governments, regional and international agencies is urgently needed to stem the imminent disaster that is likely to put lives at risk. <Read about ACORDâ€™s drought mitigation and livelihood activities in Mauritania>
The Power of Action
December 2011 Newsletter
‘Stop the Stigma’ Song Launched! ACORD, in partnership with the renowned Kenyan musician Kwame, launched the song ‘Stop the Stigma’ in Addis Ababa, during the 16th ICASA Conference. The song denounces stigma and discrimination against hard-toreach communities and vulnerable minority groups including people living with HIV, sexual and ethnic minorities, sexually abused women, people with disability, refugees among others. Together against Stigma and Discrimination! In his message to the audience, Kwame emphasised that: “Everyone should teach tolerance, respect, and understanding. Governments, religious leaders, and media should use their influence to advocate for social change. I believe that stigma and discrimination will continue to exist so long as society as a whole has a poor understanding and acceptance of marginalised people, the pain and the suffering caused by negative attitudes and discriminatory practices”. “Stigma and discrimination is a problem for many across the world. As an artist, I want to spread the message across using ‘Stop the Stigma' song, from the community level to the rest of the world. Stigma is not the cure, togetherness is the answer!”.
♪Listen to the song here The song will be launched in Kenya and other countries soon. A video clip will also accompany the song. We invite all to share this song with friends and networks, and let us know if we could partner further to disseminate the song in your own country! Together we can stop the stigma!
“Stigma is not the cure, togetherness is the answer!” Kwame, Kenyan musician. Photo: ACORD team at ICASA Conference in Addis Ababa together with Kenyan musician Kwame (left)
Towards Zero Tolerance: Sharing Knowledge, Expertise to Halt the Spread of HIV in Uganda ACORD in Uganda joined the rest of the World in commemorating the International World AIDS Day on 1st of December by participating in the National Commemoration Ceremony organised by the Uganda AIDS Commission. There was plenty of activity at the Kololo Airstrip in Kampala, venue where various civil society organisation displayed materials and held discussions with members of the public on issues around HIV and AIDS. In attendance was His Excellence the Vice President of Uganda, the Honorable Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi who was accompanied by the Minister for Health Hon. Christine Ondoa and senior officials from the Uganda AIDS Commission and the Ministry of Health. “I encourage our development partners and civil society groups to continue the struggle as the HIV scourge is still with us and it is still growing”, noted the Vice President. The exhibition was a useful platform for ACORD to join other key actors and stakeholders in sharing knowledge, showcasing the initiatives, work and efforts channeled towards the fight against HIV and AIDS. ACORD seized the opportunity to share with other partners the report of a baseline survey on HIV and AIDS responses among the civil society organizations titled “Walking the Talk” that was carried out in early 2011. Visitors to the ACORD stand also received posters with information on how to promote mainstreaming of HIV and AIDS in the workplace, brochures and ACORD’s DVD ‘Condom Commandos’ from Angola.
The Ugandan Vice President
ACORD’s focus in Uganda is centred on mainstreaming HIV and AIDS. The Uganda Programme is currently implementing the Mainstreaming Programme in partnership with Oxfam and a number of partners. The Work Place Project is also being implemented and it addresses HIV and AIDS through external and internal mainstreaming in addition to advocacy for rights of persons Living with HIV and AIDS. Distributing information, education and communication materials
Read more on ACORD’s work on HIV and AIDS
Defending Rights. Promoting Justice
The Power of Action
Mozambique Signs CAADP Compact
Tanzania: Supporting Small-scale Farmers to Build Skills in Food Processing and Preservation Building skills of small-scale farmers in food processing techniques has been one of ACORD’s main focus areas in Mwanza,Tanzania aimed at empowering them with ways to enhance market value for local products and reduce wastage.
The good news is that Mozambique signed its Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme Compact on 9th December 2011 in what has been widely hailed as a key milestone for Africa. ACORD was also present during the signing ceremony to witness as Ms. Saquina Mucavele of the National Network of Organisations working on Food Sovereignty (ROSA) represented the civil society in affirming their united push towards fulfilment of commitments for 10% investment in agriculture by African governments. Mozambique becomes the 28th African country to sign the CAADP Compact (out of 47 countries). The event was chaired by the Prime Minister, Hon. Aires Ali and representatives of the Mozambican Government, development agencies, ambassadors of USA and Canada, the World Bank (representing the bulk of other donors), IFAD, FAO, farmers’ organisations, civil society organisations, NEPAD/African Union and SADC each signed the Compact.
December 2011 Newsletter
Through training sessions, knowledge of linkages between different processes involved along the agricultural value chain has been enhanced. The trainees have learnt through practical demonstrations and trying out different techniques, how to produce high nutrition tomato sauce and paste.
Monitoring the temperature of tomato paste to preserve nutritional quality
Different food preservation methods have also been tested using raw vegetable and fruits like pawpaw, mangoes, lemons and various kinds of green vegetables and cereals including finger millet, soya beans and rice. They were also happy to learn that the processed products occupied less storage space and were easier to transport.This means more products can be processed, stored and delivered to the market.
The training was conducted in partnership with Small Scall Industries Development Organisation (SIDO), a community based organisation based in Mwanza, Tanzania and is supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). More than 300 small-scale farmers have so far benefitted directly from the training of trainers initiative, and it is expected that a multiplier effect will enable thousands more from across Tanzania to benefit from the skills acquired by the trainees. Petero Kisinza, a vegetable farmer from Lukobe in Ilemela District could not hide his contentment with the intervention and had this to say: “The training was useful to me given that before I used to throw away left overs after my day at the market-place. Fortunately, now I know how to preserve vegetables like spinach. I am therefore not worried even when I am unable to sell all my products because they stay fresh for longer and do not lose any nutritional value when processed”.
ACORD has worked persistently with ROSA and other national and regional organisations in Mozambique and the Southern Africa region to secure better conditions for the small-scale agricultural sector, including lobbying for government and private sector investments. It is expected that the pact will encourage other African countries that have not signed to follow Mozambique’s example.
Read more about ACORD’s work on CAADP.
Photo: Ms Saquina Mucavele puts ink on paper to seal the commitment on CAADP. Mozambique became the 28th African country to sign the Compact
3 Defending Rights. Promoting Justice
The Power of Action
December 2011 Newsletter
Putting Leadership on the Front-line in Ending Impunity for Sexual Violence The 4th International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Heads of States Summit was held in Uganda from 15th to 16th December 2011, under the theme: “United to Prevent, End Impunity and Provide Assistance to Victims of Sexual and Gender based Violence”. Present at the Summit were presidents from Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda. ACORD was also present at the Summit and together with 11 other civil society and women’s rights organisations, issued a strong statement urging the Heads of States of the ICGLR to be on the front-line of the fight against sexual and gender based violence in Africa. “There can be no peace without peace for women” Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary General
Petitions to African Heads of States to End Violence against Women Photo: Dr. Asha Rose Migiro
The civil society organisations urged heads of state to declare zero tolerance on sexual violence crimes, allocate funding for prevention programs, institutionalise community policing, establish an independent regional impunity monitoring unit, establish national reparations fund for survivors of sexual violence and adopt a comprehensive SGBV framework. Download statement by CSO Organising Committee: english | french Declaration by Heads of State and Government
News Clips, Films and Publications Child Headed Households: Reasons Behind the Recurrence of the Phenomenon (Video; 30 minutes) A 30-minute video that highlights the challenges faced by children heading households in Rwanda, in particular related to their survival needs. Many out of necessity are forced into hazardous work or eke out a living on the land. These frustrated children, deprived of their rights to education, healthcare, protection, and inheritance are marginalized as well as vulnerable to exploitation and without integration constitute a seed of violence for the Rwanda of tomorrow. <Watch film>
MAISHA+ (Publication; HIV and AIDS), December 2011 issue: Focuses on sharing experiences and lessons in reaching out to hard-to-reach community populations in Sub Saharan Africa with HIV and AIDS interventions. Most of the experiences shared are derived from ACORD and Oxfam mainstreaming programme in East and Central Africa including Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Download publication: english | french ACORD is a Pan African organisation working for social justice and development. Our mission is to work in common cause with people who are poor and those who have been denied their rights to obtain social justice and development and be part of locally rooted citizen movements. ACORD is present in 18 countries in Africa, working with communities on livelihoods and food sovereignty, women’s rights, peacebuilding and HIV/AIDS. We also campaign and advocate at national, regional, Pan African as well as international levels. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sign up here to receive ACORD’s e-newsletters by e-mail Already subscribed? Give us your feedback E-mail: email@example.com ---------------------------------------<Read the previous issue of ‘The Power of Action’> <Back to the title page>
Rule of Law: Declare Zero Tolerance on sexual violence crimes and impunity Financial Support: Allocate specific and adequate funding for SGBV prevention programmes within a gender responsive budgeting Rapid response: Institutionalise early warning and response to sexual violence, including community policing Regional oversight: Establish independent regional impunity monitoring unit Restitution: Establish national reparation funds for survivors of sexual violence Accountability: Adopt a comprehensive SGBV performance framework with clear standards and targets
©2011 ACORD (Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development) Editorial Team Editor Nashon Tado Photo Credits Flavia Birungi Lokola Ndibalema Marcel Kichumisa
Editorial Review Caroline Testud Ellen Bajenja Kristin Seljeflot Nicola Bevan Vanessa Dupont