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aidsfocus.ch e-Bulletin 13.05.2005

aidsfocus.ch e-Bulletin 13.05.2005
aidsfocus.news in English

May 13, 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 April/May 2005


Dear Reader

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall…" An external evaluation holds up a mirror to an organisation – And which organisation does not secretly hope to be "the fairest of them all"? Well, aidsfocus.ch, the Swiss platform for HIV/AIDS and international cooperation, may well not be the fairest, but in the global context it is the only effective platform dealing with the subjects of HIV and AIDS. To quote the evaluation, aidsfocus.ch is "the Swiss reference for the topic, the important organisations nationally are integrated". The SDC's HIV and AIDS specialist, Sandra Bernasconi, even goes so far as to speak of a "success story".

It certainly cannot be denied that aidsfocus.ch has become a very active community of practice and international cooperation in the HIV and AIDS field within a very short time. Members develop ideas and design projects in a process of exchange and then implement them. It is primarily the people and organisations involved in the platform's joint activities that give it its vitality. Just as important, however, are the numerous informal and decentralised meetings and get-togethers at which partners have a chance to share information and experience on specific tasks and work on them together.

The high point of the year is the aidsfocus.ch conference, which is always held in spring. The first conference, held last year, was entitled "Living with HIV/AIDS. Treatment and Care for All" and addressed the question of antiretroviral treatment in the southern hemisphere and the Orient as an area for Switzerland's development aid activities. This year's conference, which was held on 12 April 2005, was devoted to memory work and psychosocial support. The general consensus among attendees was that the event was successful and inspiring. A conference report is the key article in this edition of aidsfocus.news.

Readers of aidsfocus.news can also actively support the work of aidsfocus.ch, get involved in the community of practice and become a partner, either as an organisation or as an individual. You will find further information at www.aidsfocus.ch or you can send a personal e-mail to hzweifel@medicusmundi.ch.

I would be delighted to welcome you as a partner of aidsfocus.ch.

Helena Zweifel aidsfocus.ch coordinator


CONTENT

IN FOCUS - REPORT FROM THE AIDSFOCUS.CH CONFERENCE 2005 - “STRENGTH FROM REMEMBERING”

NEWS - AIDSFOCUS.CH: INFORMATIONS FROM THE STEERING COMMITTEE - INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES HIGHLIGHTS HIV/AIDS - 15TH MAY - WORLD RED CROSS/RED CRESCENT DAY - 8TH MAY

NEW DOCUMENTS - SEA-AIDS E-CORRESPONDENT - RESPONDING TO THE ORPHAN CRISIS - PROGRAMME PLANNING RESOURCES AND TRAINING MATERIALS - HIV-RELATED STIGMA, DISCRIMINATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

EVENTS - 24.11.2005 AIDSFOCUS.CH ANNUAL MEETING


IN FOCUS


REPORT FROM THE AIDSFOCUS.CH CONFERENCE 2005

"… and one can dare to hope and dare to remember" How children and adults living with AIDS can gain new courage through memory work

The aidsfocus.ch conference held on 12 April 2005 in Berne was entitled "… and one can dare to hope and dare to remember. Memory Work: Coping Strategies in the Face of AIDS". It brought together over 60 participants, mostly representatives of Swiss aid organizations and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and guests from other countries. All took full advantage of this forum for information and experience sharing and for learning together to provide lively and stimulating input and to pursue extensive discussions. Presentations by international experts in the field and working groups were given an added dimension by a special memory book made for each participant from cardboard; the purpose of these books was to enable each participant to take an individual approach to the subject of the conference.

The conference picked up the symbol of the "flower" which formed the close of last year's aidsfocus.ch conference on comprehensive treatment and care. The flower symbolizes a "comprehensive care package" for people living with HIV/AIDS, comprising psychosocial care, medical treatment, clinical care, home-based care, financial support, countering the stigma of HIV/AIDS and support for human rights, information and prevention. These are all elements of a comprehensive approach - elements which complement and reinforce each other.

A good example of this holistic approach is NACWOLA, the National Community of Women living with AIDS in Uganda. NACWOLA attracted international attention with its "memory books". Annet Biryetega talked very vividly about how memory books improve communication between HIV-positive parents and their children.

Jonathan Morgan defines memory work as "the deliberate setting up of a safe space in which to contain the telling of a story as a key element of memory work". The vital element is the space that allows adults and children to express their feelings, experiences, doubts and hopes in words and pictures. They develop a new perspective on life through telling the story of their own life, sharing it with others and sharing others' stories as well.

"Memory work is a first-aid kit," was how Noreen Huni described the importance of this work. Psychosocial care and support are more comprehensive and go beyond this level: "Psychosocial care and support are interventions and methods that enhance children's, families' and communities' ability to cope, in their own context, and to achieve personal and social well-being; enabling children to experience love, protection and support that allow them to have a sense of self-worth and belonging."

Report: http://www.aidsfocus.ch

Documentation of the Conference (including speeches and resources): http://www.aidsfocus.ch


"STRENGTH FROM REMEMBERING"

The Film/ DVD "Strength from Remembering. Memory Work with people affected with HIV/AIDS in South Africa" documents different forms of memory work developed to support children, women and men affected by AIDS. 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. DVD available: info@aidsfocus.ch

http://www.aidsfocus.ch


NEWS


AIDSFOCUS.CH: INFORMATIONS FROM THE STEERING COMMITTEE

Meeting 10th May, 2005: The focus was on the evaluation of aidsfocus.ch and the follow up of the conclusions and recommendation. The positive results of the evaluation are much appreciated. However, the recommendations raise high expectations, but the financial resources will be restrained in future too. Main issues discussed: Role of Steering Committee (SC), advocacy, guidelines for working groups, Annual Meeting, website and the e-bulletin, finances, and strategic planning.

http://www.aidsfocus.ch


INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES HIGHLIGHTS HIV/AIDS - 15TH MAY

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's message: "Clearly, we must do all we can to help the family remain resilient. The Theme of this year's International Day of Families - the impact of HIV and AIDS on family well-being - draws attention to one of the most pressing challenges of our time. It is a challenge that affects families, extended families, communities and Governments around the world." More information about International Day of Families:

http://tinyurl.com


WORLD RED CROSS/RED CRESCENT DAY - 8TH MAY

Focus on reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have been involved in the fight against the spread of the HIV/AIDS infection since the mid-1980s. With its 100 million volunteers, the International Federation is able to play an essential role in coordinating and supporting local efforts to combat the disease.The main focus of all Federation programmes related to HIV/AIDS will be on developing internal competence and reducing vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. Community-based action involving the different local stakeholders will be a core component of all programme areas.

http://www.ifrc.org


NEW RESOURCES


SEA-AIDS E-CORRESPONDENT

SEA-AIDS is a regional eForum focused on HIV/AIDS and related health and development issues in Asia and the Pacific. The Asia-Pacific region needs to share experiences about HIV/AIDS more than ever. The current and future epidemic scenarios here place an onus on all of us to make sure the work is as effective, inclusive and successful as possible. In light of these needs, the first monthly synopsis of SEA-AIDS is provided: eCorrespondent.

http://www.aidsfocus.ch


RESPONDING TO THE ORPHAN CRISIS

FAO has combined its popular teaching methodology, called the Farmer Field School, which was developed to teach adult farmers about the ecology of their fields through firsthand observation and analysis, with the Farmer Life School, which uses similar analytical methods to teach about human behaviour and AIDS prevention. The version for children is called the Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools. (2005)

http://www.fao.org


PROGRAMME PLANNING RESOURCES AND TRAINING MATERIALS

This compendium of materials aims to be a valuable tool for helping professionals and health workers, including young people, providing access to materials previously unavailable to them, and bringing to light the concepts being highlighted as essential elements of HIV prevention for youth-focused programming. (UNFPA, 2005)

http://www.unfpa.org


HIV-RELATED STIGMA, DISCRIMINATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

Case studies of successful programmes. HIV-related stigma and discrimination and human rights violations constitute great barriers to preventing HIV infection; providing care, support and treatment; and alleviating the impact of the epidemic. This publication documents case studies of successful action addressing HIV-related human rights violations, stigma and discrimination. (UNAIDS Best Practice, April 2005)

http://www.unaids.org


EVENTS


24.11.2005 | AIDSFOCUS.CH ANNUAL MEETING

Bern | The focus will be a) on sharing of experiences and building networks, and b) on positioning of aidsfocus.ch. The agenda will be sent to partners in September 2005. Please note the date!

http://www.aidsfocus.ch


www.aidsfocus.ch

aidsfocus.ch is a project set up by Medicus Mundi Switzerland. aidsfocus.ch is sponsored and shaped by 26 partner organizations who support the aims and activities of the platform through their financial contributions, expertise and commitment.

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