Juba: HIV/AIDS outreach

Following the visit to Juba by two of our Trustees last October, The Women's Education Partnership has agreed to start a modest programme in South Sudan, in addition to continued support of the 17 scholars who are studying at Southern universities. The first project will be implemented by a local NGO, the National Women's Empowerment and Rehabilitation Organization (NWERO), which is a continuation of an NGO led by Southern women in Khartoum, with whom we worked on HIV/AIDS outreach programmes in the displaced areas around Khartoum. It consists of two parts: a week training for 35 community volunteers on HIV/AIDS and how to communicate health care messages to the community, and six outreaches, each targetting 200 people in areas around Juba to advise them on how to avoid contracting HIV and how to live with it and with those who suffer from it.

The total project cost is just under $15,000

We have committed to support the training, which we hope will take place in February and are now looking for partners to support the outreaches each of which is budgeted to cost just over $1,000. The project will be carried out by NWERO personnel, who have experience of this sort of work in the Khartoum area, and supervised by the Women's Education Partnership representative in Juba, who, until he moved back to South Sudan, was the Deputy Country Coordinator in our Khartoum office.

This project is badly needed.

Following years of civil conflict and lack of health services, it is estimated that HIV prevalence among South Sudanese adults is 3.1% and that some 214,000 adults in South Sudan are already living with HIV. Apart from war, the main causes include ignorance, social stigma, lack of education and the low status of women. The proposed outreaches will begin to address these issues.