Welcome to issue 13 of the ARASA quarterly newsletter
This year MULEIDE has focused on creating awareness in the different communities through IEC material, advocating for increased funding for community responses and civil society organisations and has also hired a consultant to analyse the 2011 General State Accounts in order to submit the results to the Planning and Budget committee, which sits in the Assembly of the Republic of Mozambique.
On 17 June the ARASA-supported Malawi country programme hosted by CEDEP and CHRR, mobilised and led a group of civil society organisations, working in the public health sector and HIV and AIDS management, in calling for the immediate review of and action from members of parliament on the persistently inadequate national budget allocation to the health sector.
The Treatment Advocacy Literacy Campaign (TALC) was selected to be the host organisation of the 2013 ARASA-supported HIV, TB and Human Rights Programme in Zambia. TALC was selected based on the following criteria: their track record in HIV, TB and Human Rights advocacy, their visibility in Zambia, as well as their institutional systems.
ARASA’s TB and the Mines Campaign reaps rewards: Swaziland Migrant Mineworkers Association joins Country Coordinating Mechanism
“Nothing for mine workers, without the voices of mineworkers!” is the mantra of ex-miners across the Southern African region. After spending years working underground as migrant workers in South Africa’s dusty mines, these men are sent back to their home countries with little or no hope of finding work and having contracted lung disease, a constant reminder that they gave their lives to build the South African economy. With no cross-border health referral systems in place these ex-miners are simply going home to die.
17 May marked the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. This year, ARASA joined activists from across the globe to call for an end to acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Read ARASA’s statement here.
The story that appeared in the Times of Zambia of 23 July 2013, entitled “Homosexuality rise worries prison authorities in Zambia”, makes sad reading. The story reported that there is rampant male rape occurring in prisons and this was misconstrued by the Prisons Authority as homosexuality. These are certainly two different dimensions, whilst one is non-consensual sex as it is rape, the latter is consensual sex. The solutions offered by the prisons authorities do not deal with the problem instead they aim at behaviour modification that may arguably work for homosexuality but who will protect the rights of prisoners constantly raped by fellow inmates?
One of the areas of focus of the Mozambique HIV, Tb and human rights country programme, hosted by MULEIDE, is the stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV in various communities in Mozambique. One such a case is that of Rosa Joseph. Her story is one of many told by people who experience discrimination in their communities and at the hands of family members.
The South African AIDS conference was held from 18-20 June in Durban, under the theme ‘Building on Successes: Integrating systems’.
We would like to announce some changes in and additions to the ARASA team. As of 1 July 2013, Lawrence Mbalati, previously the Advocacy Officer, will commence work as the Training and Capacity Strengthening Officer while, Boniswa Seti, previously the Training and Capacity Strengthening Officer will become the LGBTI Programme Officer.