MWANDI UCZ MISSION
LCCB: Local Community Competence Building
LCCB is a 3 year, Grant-funded project to educate, train and equip members of the community on such issues as HIV/AIDS and Human Rights. Starting in Jan 2003, the project will finish in Dec 2006 having set up long term schemes that can continue even when LCCB has finished. It is headed by Mr. Chibilika (see right), Medical officer at Mwandi.
LCCB has trained youth peer educators to give youth aged 10-25 HIV/AIDS information and sex education. This takes place both in and out of schools, with the former being particular successful as the knowledge is imparted via the teachers. Out of school, Leaders have been trained to run clubs and Educational Festivals with poems, dramas and quizzes are attended by around 300 people.
Community Education and Counselling
This is similar to peer education, but focuses on adults. By working with Community Leaders, such as Church pastors, they inform and encourage behaviour and attitudes concerning HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, particular with regards to those who are HIV+, orphans or widows. Whilst there is still a stigma attached to these, discrimination has greatly decreased since LCCB started. Gender Equality is also something that is being tackled, with many men refusing to let their wives make their own decisions. In this area, the male pays a Bridal Price to the women's family, and then effectively owns her. For example, if her husband dies, his family might take all her property, and sometimes the children as well but leave her to fend for herself. This is something that the Chief of the Lozi is clamping down on. (Left: A TB drama performed by volunteers in a rural village)
Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT)
Each day at Mwandi Mission, one of the 13 counsellors is on duty to give pre- and post- test counselling to anyone who wants to be tested for HIV/AIDS. The counsellors are all volunteers, and have undergone a Psychosocial Counselling Course. Each week, about 40 people are counselled, in sessions lasting for around 40 minutes, tested and then work through with the counsellor issues regarding disclosure and behaviour change. Whilst some are now happy to let family and friends know their status, there are others who do not wish to even be tested due to fear of discrimination. The introduction of the ART clinic increased the number of those wishing to be tested as they knew that they could then have access to life-giving drugs. The majority of those being tested are women, who tend to be more health conscious and socially responsible than the men.
Home Based Care
This scheme identifies and trains caregivers in the community to look after those who are chronically ill. There are 27 centres around the catchment area, with about 200 trained volunteers who care for over 240 people. They are also able to administer drugs, which are provided free from CHAZ (Churches Health Association of Zambia) and are encouraged to pass the knowledge on to others.
This is an income-generating scheme which gives a loan to start off a small group business. Each group of 10 researches and decides on a business, which could be sewing, raising chickens or selling goats. The Microcredit Officer trains and assesses them and if, he feels they could successfully implement their plan, gives them the loan of about 2 million kwacha. At the moment there are 10 groups around the area, of which 5 have already raised enough to pay back the loan. This money is then passed on to the next group in the community, in order to benefit others. The group decide where any profit should be given, such as those affected by HIV or orphans in the village.
Orphans and Widow Support
LCCB received an amount of money to provide items like uniforms and blankets to those orphans and widows in need.