Held at Fairview Hotel, Lusaka

November 2003 – April 2004



In many countries, including Zambia, initial responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic seem to have been based upon the assumption that the fundamental problem to be addressed is one of lack of knowledge, and that, in itself, the provision of information will lead to changes in behaviour.  Hence, drawing upon experiences of other health and developmental issues such as population and reproductive health, countries have invested in large-scale “IEC” campaigns, sometimes in combination with more focused programmes for specific groups.  Thus in Zambia, mass awareness IEC campaigns have been initiated on HIV/AIDS using drama and theatre shows, radio talk shows, posters, flip charts, printed leaflets, transparencies, and messages inscribed on items of every day use such as combs, mirrors, rulers and now on fertilizer bags.  However, the large scale nature of such activities has resulted in content which tended to be general rather than specific, complex rather than simple and externally determined rather than individually generated.


Not surprisingly, impact evaluation consistently reveals significant achievement in terms of creating changes in awareness but much less convincing evidence to demonstrate any significant impact upon behaviour.  One broad conclusion from this experience is that while awareness is necessary, it is rarely a sufficient step in the process towards behaviour change.  Another broad conclusion is that risk-associated behaviour such as unprotected sexual intercourse is heavily underlain by deep-rooted factors such as negative cultural norms that have essentially become social behaviours involving individuals/society as a whole.  Thus the focus of HIV/AIDS programmes and efforts need to shift from:-

1       The level of the “society” as a whole to that of an “individual”

2       Mass “targeting” to a more careful “engendered” approach

3       Mobilising “inputs” to sustain desirable “outcomes”


Aim and Objectives:

The workshop aimed at strengthening HIV/AIDS awareness, gender sensitivity and individual/collective action among participants.  Participating groups were tasked to come up with new insights on the following:

1       Enhancing understanding of basic issues and concerns in the spread and prevention of HIV/AIDS as well as in the support of people living with AIDS and care of vulnerable children

2       Sharing knowledge on how beliefs, attitudes, values and societal norms influence the spread and growth of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Zambia

3       Identifying strategies that can address the challenge of HIV/AIDS from an individual/societal perspective


The Workshop:

The facilitators worked with the participants to develop both an individual and an institutional approach (targeting family, church, the community and workplace) for creating awareness, and in laying the foundation for simple initiatives that directly and indirectly reduce risky behaviour and gender inequalities between women and men.


The facilitators also ensured an enabling environment in which the participants felt comfortable in expressing their ideas and in supporting or challenging each other if they so wished.  This was particularly important in an area such as HIV/AIDS where sensitive issues were likely to emerge concerning sex and sexuality, stigma, gender and power relations, blame and hostility, family crisis and pain; so that as they went back to their families, churches and communities, they would be encouraged to create and maintain an enabling environment when carrying out their programmes.


The workshop was funded by USAID and we were given $10,727.03 for the fiscal year July 2003 – July 2004.  The breakdown of the funding is as follows:-


Video and VCR




Conference Facilities 


Lunches for Workshop Participants


Fuel for Outreach





The cheques for the workshops were written directly to the vendors providing the materials and services that were needed for the running of the workshop, through Makeni Ecumenical Centre.


The training started in November 2003 and ended in April 2004.  We targeted all our rural family planning sites visited by the HIV/AIDS Prevention Project for training, but funding was insufficient to reach out to all the sites for training.  We trained six rural sites and four urban church groups.  The trained groups are as follows:-


Mukobela Adult Community




Chinkuli Adult Community




Sichingolo Adult Community




Mukobela Youth Community




Chinkuli Youth Community




Fringilla/Zambeef/Seedling Farms




Church Leaders




Church Members




Church Youths




Women Only





Each site was invited to send 12 participants for training, but some sent fewer.


The workshops were organised by Makeni Ecumenical Centre HIV/AIDS Prevention Project and supervised by the Makeni Ecumenical Centre Administrative and Personnel Manager. Three experienced facilitators from International AIDS Alliance, CHAZ and Youth Activists Organisation (YAO), all based in Lusaka, took part.


The venue for the workshop was the Fairview Hotel on Church Road in Lusaka.  The participants from the rural sites were collected from their respective sites a day before the workshop and provided for their own accommodation.  Lunches were provided at the hotel.  Photocopying of handouts, teas, biscuits, drinks and bus fares to and from the workshop site were provided by Makeni Ecumenical Centre HIV/AIDS Prevention Project.


The first session of the workshop was opened by the Chairman of Makeni Ecumenical Centre, Fr Andrew Mukuyamba.  We were privileged to be visited by the U.S Ambassador, Martin Brennan, during one of the sessions.  The participants were each given a certificate of attendance from Makeni Ecumenical Centre HIV/AIDS Prevention Project.


Topics covered during the training were:-


*     Basic facts on HIV/AIDS – Ten basic questions

*     Overview of adolescents sexual reproductive health

*     Individual sexual responsibility

*     Sex before marriage

*     Why some parents find it hard to talk to their children about sex

*     Traditional instruction given to young people on sexuality

*     Is sex good?

*     Sex and sexuality

*     The ABCDE method of HIV/AIDS prevention (Fleet of Hope)

*     Prevention of mother to child transmission

*     Voluntary counselling and testing

*     Caring for people with HIV/AIDS: Positive living

*     The SALT concept (Support and Learning Team)

*     Community to community concept transfer

*     Stigma and discrimination

*     Caring for orphans and vulnerable children

*     Gender issues in HIV prevention and AIDS care

*     Youth - adult partnership formation

*     Mobilising community action against AIDS

*     Focusing on strengths

*     How to write a project proposal

*     Action planning