PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS. This program focuses on the Care and Support for People Living With HIV/AIDS
Thandizani has a program for caring and supporting people living with HIV/AIDS within the District aiming at prolonging the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. This is done through support groups formed within the community. Clients support each other through having meetings to encourage and strengthen each other to live positively and fight stigma and discrimination.
Katandala is one of the support groups formed in 2005 as a result of increased numbers of PLHA in the community. The main aim was to strengthen and support each other to live positively. Currently it has a membership of 40. Katandala is 4km in the northern part of Lundazi. At the time of formation the group was concerned about Nutritional needs of individuals in order to live healthy lives. Most of them were food insecure and had problems in taking care of their families. Thandizani supports the support groups by providing training, referring clients to health facilities and provision of food to clients. After identifying the problem, they came up with the idea of writing a proposal asking for financial support in order to carry out support group meetings and establish income generating activities. They first began with a communal garden. The IGA grew and the proceeds from the harvest were used to diversify from gardening to piggery. Individuals within the support group were empowered by receiving pigs, seeds and fertilizers.
The economic status of these families has improved and marriages have been strengthened. These families are now able to support their children to attend school and afford a decent meal. Men have stopped drinking beer excessively, wife battering and other marital conflicts have reduced. Most of the spouse time is spent together.
The community perception about PLHA as weak and dependent on support from extended families has changed. It is now very difficult to know and believe that these people are HIV positive because they are even more productive than ever. This has helped to reduce stigma and discrimination of PLWHA in the community.
Thandizani Community Based HIV/AIDS Prevention & Care, Lundazi - Zambia