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aidsfocus.ch e-Bulletin 08.02.2005

aidsfocus.ch e-Bulletin 08.02.2005
aidsfocus.news in English

Feb 08, 2005

ELECTORNIC BULLETIN OF THE SWISS PLATFORM ON HIV/AIDS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

THE ELECTRONIC BULLETIN OF THE SWISS PLATFORM FOR HIV/AIDS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION


“… AND ONE CAN DARE TO HOPE AND DARE TO REMEMBER” MEMORY WORK: COPING STRATEGIE IN THE FACE OF AIDS

INVITATION TO THE AIDSFOCUs.CH CONFERENCE April 12, 2005, in Bern

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear colleagues

Herewith we would like to invite you to the second aidsfocus.ch conference on April 12, 2005. This year’s focus is on memory work, an innovative approach that combines a range of creative methods of enabling people to examine their life stories and to cope with the challenges they encounter.

We are happy that we were able to invite excellent guest speakers who have many years of experience in working with people infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS:

Annet Biryetega, National Coordinator for the National Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (NACWOLA), Uganda, on Memory Books – Ways to cope with the future. Experiences from Uganda

Jonathan Morgan, former Director of the Memory Work Project, Capetown University, Coordinator of the 10MMP, South Africa, on concepts and experiences with memory work in various settings

  • Noreen Huni, Executive Director of the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative For Children Affected by HIV/AIDS (REPSSI), Zimbabwe, on enhancing psychosocial support of children affected by HIV/AIDS

There will be space to reflect and discuss options of implementation of memory work in development cooperation.

Please find any further information in the attached documents:

http://www.aidsfocus.ch

Looking forward to see you at the conference With kind regards

Helena Zweifel Coordinator aidsfocus.ch


THE NEW FILM BY AIDSFOCUS.CH


"STRENGTH FROM REMEMBERING" – MEMORY WORK WITH PEOPLE AFFECTED BY HIV/AIDS IN SOUTH AFRICA

"Strength from Remembering" documents different forms of memory work developed to support children, women and men affected by AIDS. It describes the lives of Babalwa (29) and Bulelwa (36), two women who live separated from their families in the township of Kayelitsha in South Africa. The diagnosis of "HIV-positive" was a drastic turning point in their lives. Memory work and treatment with antiretroviral drugs have helped them find new strength to go on living.

Using expressive and sensitive images, the film conveys a range of memory work methods and their local variants. The images are intended by René Schraner and Eva Hänger as visible parallels to the methods of memory work. And provides a space for people to experess themselves:

"I think, memory work made me strong, because before I joined, I was not free to talk about my status.” (Bulelwa Nowke, 36)

“When I remember my mother I open the box. And I’m sad because my mother died – and happy because I have her things.” (Mawahkhe, 11 years)

Camera: René Schraner Sound: Eva Hänger Music: Lukas Rohner In close collaboration with the Working Group "Children affected by HIV/AIDS" of aidsfocus.ch

A DVD à Fr. 40.- contains two versions of the film: „Strength from Remembering“ - Memory Work with people affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa. 50 minutes, English spoken „Strength from Remembering“ – Three approaches of Memory Work: Memory Boxes, Memory Books and Body Maps. 15 minutes, English spoken

The DVD is available from:

aidsfocus.ch c/o Medicus Mundi Switzerland Murbacherstrasse 34 P.O. Box 4013 Basel

info@aidsfocus.ch

http://www.aidsfocus.ch


MEMORY WORK: IMPORTANT LINKS AND RESOURCES


NACLOWA AND THE INTERNATIONAL MEMORY PROJECT, UGANDA

The Uganda based National Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (NACWOLA) initiated the Memory project in 1997. Since then it has been used in Uganda and Kenya to support mothers wanting to disclose their HIV status to their children and encourage them to prepare for their future with their children. This has opened up communication between parents and children in a culture that typically remains silent and distrustful over the AIDS epidemic. The Memory Project trainers, often HIV-positive themselves, run workshops and work directly with women and children. Their sensitive approach works on many levels, with individuals, families and whole communities. Encouraging parents and children to communicate in a supportive environment helps to dispel the stigma and discrimination associated with an HIV-positive status.

http://www.healthlink.org.uk


BREAKING THE SILENCE: MEMORY BOOKS AND SUCCESSION PLANNING

The experience of NACWOLA and Save the Children UK in Uganda. This booklet documents the experiences of the past years’ work, in order to bring out lessons for the future. At NACWOLA, where the Memory Book ideas first took root in Uganda, it soon became clear that making a Memory Book could encourage parents to disclose their HIV status to their children and/or to the wider community. It opened up channels of general communication between parents and children, and so improved their relationship. It ensured that children understand their family’s traditions and beliefs and give parents an opportunity to state their hopes and advice for the future.

http://www.savethechildren.org.uk


"I DIE, BUT THE MEMORY LIVES ON"

The new book by Henning Mankell on Memory Work: I Die, but the Memory Lives on: the World Aids Crisis and the Memory Book Project (or, A Personal Reflection on Aids)

I Die, but the Memory Lives on is an angry book. Its author, the highly successful Swedish crime fiction writer Henning Mankell, also campaigns for Aids awareness. In particular, he is involved with the Memory Books project, which tries to encourage parents with Aids to write something of themselves down, for when their children have grown up. I Die is a book about Mankell's experiences with Aids and Memory Books in Africa, where Aids has hit people the hardest. That is to say, it's killing them. Millions of people are dead or dying. (Published by The Harvill Press, London, 2004)

http://www.randomhouse.co.uk


MEMORY BOX PROJECT, ASRU

The Memory Box Project is a programme of the Aids and Social Research Unit (ASRU), Cape Town University that helps HIV positive people come to terms with their diagnosis, communicate with their families, and prepare for the future. It also provides a focal point for educational and awareness-raising work on HIV/AIDS. The vision is to help HIV positive people whilst creating a non-exploitative interface between those living with HIV/AIDS and researchers trying to ascertain the social and personal impact of the pandemic. Jonathan Morgan is the former Director of the Memory Box Project.

http://www.cssr.uct.ac.za


MEMORY BOX TRAINER’S MANUAL

The overall objective of the Memory Box Programme, Sinomlando Project (University of Natal, South Africa), is to enhance resilience in vulnerable children and orphans affected by HIV/AIDS through the methodology of the memory boxes. The memories of a family are kept in a memory box which contains the story of the deceased parents as well as various objects pertaining to their history.

http://www.hs.unp.ac.za


MEMORY WORK: BODY MAPS

Body Maps are large life-sized paintings containing representations of the virus, symbols of personlal power and illustrations of the important marks left by life. Team members take their own body maps to talk about their experience of illness, treatment, and disclosure.

http://www.cssr.uct.ac.za
http://www.aidsfocus.ch


MAPPING WORKSHOP MANUAL: FINDING YOUR WAY THROUGH LIFE, SOCIETY AND HIV

The manual summarizes the main “intervention tools” used by a group of peer educators know as the A-team in the AIDS and Society Research Unit (ASRU), Capetown University, South Africa: Journey mapping, body mapping, memory books, disclosure and social maps. The tools have been developed within the Memory Box Project of ASRU and are constantly being updated. (published by ASRU, Centre for Social Science Research, University of Capetown, March 2004)

http://www.cssr.uct.ac.za
http://www.aidsfocus.ch


TREATMENT COMBINDED WITH MEMORY WORK

Contradition in terms or why not? An article by Jonathan Morgan, Coordinator of the 10MMP. In HIV and AIDS contexts, and in an era where ARVs and life saving and life prolonging pharmaceutical treatment have not been available to all who need them, memory work has evolved, more than anything else, as a preparation for death. There is little doubt that classical memory work, that is, memory work as legacy and memory work as succession planning, fits best and is most poignant in the face of death and dying. What needs questioning however, is the often unspoken assumptions that memory work applies only where there is no treatment and where premature death is inevitable. However, Memory Box staff have begun a collaborative project with Medicines Sans Frontieres in which memory boxes and books are used as qualitative research tools to document the stories of HIV positive people now receiving anti-retroviral medication.

http://www.aidsfocus.ch


CHILDREN IN THE TIME OF AIDS

This special edition of the AIDS Bulletin focuses on the psychosocial needs of children within the context of the AIDS pandemic and on memory work. Memory work is an innovative model of psychosocial support geared towards developing resilience among children, which has been adopted and adapted by various organisations working with children in the context of HIV/AIDS. This work has now been brought together by REPSSI under the umbrella of the Ten Million Memories Project. This is an excellent collection of articles by various authors. (AIDS Bulletin June/ July 2004)

http://www.mrc.ac.za


www.aidsfocus.ch

aidsfocus.ch is a project set up by Medicus Mundi Switzerland. aidsfocus.ch is sponsored and shaped by 24 partner organisations who support the aims and activities of the platform through their financial contributions, expertise and commitment. It is also financially supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (sdc).

Partners: Aids & Child, Bethlehem Mission Immensee, Caritas Switzerland, cinfo, CO-OPERAID, Déclaration de Berne, Doctors without Borders, Fédération Genevoise de Coopération, Gemeinschaft St. Anna-Schwestern, HEKS, IAMANEH Switzerland, medico international Switzerland, mediCuba-Suisse, missio, REPSSI, SolidarMed, Swiss Aids Federation, Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund, Swiss MIVA, Swiss Red Cross, Swiss Tropical Institute, Terre des hommes Foundation, terre des hommes switzerland, World Vision Switzerland.