Friday, August 12, 2005

SAT: Responding To AIDS With Competence

BEven though the Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT) was established in 1990, it was known as the 'Southern African AIDS Training Programme until 2003. Prior to 2003 it was a project of the Canadian Public Health Association's Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). But since that time it has held Trust status as an independent regional organization.

SAT is a regional initiative that supports community responses to HIV and AIDS through in-depth partnerships with community groups in southern Africa and wider networking, skills exchange and lesson sharing throughout the region and internationally.

Our overall goal is to build the competence of communities to develop and manage effective, appropriate and sustainable responses to the multiple challenges posed by HIV and AIDS.

It's Regional Secretariat and Zimbabwe Program Office are located in Harare, Zimbabwe; but it also has smaller decentralized offices in Lilongwe in Malawi, Maputo in Mozambique, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and Lusaka in Zambia.

Their funding and skills building activities support the capacity development of its partners and their programs in order to create more effective, sustainable and comprehensive community responses to HIV and AIDS.

Even though SAT is no longer a project of CIDAm, it still delivers a large regional project for that organization. But now it has an expanded portfolio of other work funded by a growing number of new resource provider partners.

SAT's vision is to be the leading CBO/NGO support provider in southern Africa. In this way, it believes that it can ensure HIV and AIDS competent communities.

It states that its mission is to work directly and through its partners to increase the HIV and AIDS competence of communities in southern Africa. By increasing community competence, HIV infection can be reduced and the support and care of HIV and AIDS victims will be improved. Additionally competent communities can help to ensure adequate impact mitigation measures and address the underlying factors that make communities and individuals vulnerable. Competent communities can also work more efficiently towards the sustainability of these achievements.

SAT intends to prove and promote the empowering nature and relevance of "south-to-south" skills exchange and lesson sharing. They also intend to work in such as manner as to become known and respected for efficacy and accountability in grants management, integrating monitoring and evaluation into capacity building relationships, and ensuring linkages between financial resources and ongoing technical support. All this while they become a leader in capacity building of CBOs and NGOs.

SAT believes that it's achievements and lessons will offer a model to encourage and inform practice in the broad field of development, not only HIV and AIDS, across southern Africa and globally. And they are fundamentally committed to promoting a co-operative, co-ordinated and non-competitive environment for the response to HIV and AIDS.

Their core values, adapted from the 15th March 2004 draft of the "Code of Good Practice for NGOs responding to HIV/AIDS" focus on

- Valuing human life
- Preventing and alleviating human suffering
- Respecting the dignity of all people
- Respecting diversity and promoting the equality of all people without distinction of any kind, such as race, ethnicity, colour, sex, gender, sexual orientation, HIV status, language, religion, political or other opinion
- Promoting the greater involvement of people living with HIV and AIDS
- Promoting gender equality
- Meeting the needs of children affected by HIV and AIDS, including their need for psychosocial support
- Supporting community values that encourage respect for others and a willingness to work together to find solutions, in the spirit of compassion and mutual support
- Assisting CBOs/NGOs to develop more comprehensive community responses
- Addressing social and economic inequalities and fostering social justice.

SAT is organized into Teams and Units that carry out its mission. In addition to two Management Teams (a 'Strategic' Management team and a 'Business' Management team)

There is a Finance and Administration Team a Country Programmes Team and a Good Practice Team. You can read about the roles and functions of each of the teams at SAT's web site.

The organization works on a national level and on a regional level. On the National Level, it operates programs in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. On the national level the work has three main components:

Capacity development partnerships with CBOs and NGOs

SAT's School Without Walls


On the Regional Level, SAT has:

Regional School Without Walls

Capacity development with regional organizations

Operations research

All of these programs, both on the national and regional levels have a lot of components and a lot of detail. And as you know that my goal is to write "Brief" articles about the various organizations, I am going to leave it to you, dear reader to go to the Southern African AIDS Trust's web site at: to learn more about this effective organization.

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