Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Training on Stepping Stones is in constantly in progress for LWS Team in Trichirappalli District.


Link Workers Training imparted by DRP(T) in Trichirapalli

“Training on Stepping Stones is in constantly in progress for LWS Team in Trichirappalli District”, mentioned by Subramanian, the District Resource Person (Training) of Link Workers project of Trichirappalli District. In midterm training for the Link workers, Subramanian mentioned that LWS is being implemented by SEVAI, a local NGO with the guidance and support of the lead NGO, Voluntary Health Services, Chennai and TANSAC plays a vital role in monitoring this project. He further enlightened, “The Link Worker Scheme is a short-term community-based intervention designed to address the HIV prevention and care needs of the rural community, with a special focus on High Risk populations and other vulnerable groups. Under National AIDS Control Programme III, the Link Worker Scheme was formulated with the premise that there are significant High Risk populations present in rural areas that need to be reached. The Link Worker Scheme, implemented under the National AIDS Control Program III, is specifically designed to address the sub-populations that have the highest risk of exposure to HIV in the rural areas. The programme strives to reach to the High Risk Groups and vulnerable population in the rural areas through Link Workers appointed for the purpose. Though the primary focus of the scheme is on preventive efforts, it attempts to integrate prevention with care, support and treatment, with a strong emphasis on community ownership and sustainability. The scheme has envisaged a new cadre of trained and motivated local personnel who are introduced at the village level as link workers. During the selection of the link workers, priority is given to people who are acceptable to the village community and who have a comfort level to discuss intimate human relations, sexual practices, sexuality and issues related to drug use with the community. The role envisaged for these link workers is to help equip the high-risk individuals and vulnerable young people with information and skills to combat the pandemic. These link workers are supported by District Resource Persons (DRP), Monitoring and Evaluation officers, supervisors and volunteers from the villages. Together with link workers, volunteers, form a key cadre in the Link Worker Scheme. Volunteers are expected to take the onus of making the scheme acceptable to the communities and supporting the link workers. They are expected to sustain the process of change in the communities, even after the project withdraws. These volunteers represent different groups in the village such as SHGs, youth groups, women’s group, HRGs and PLHIVs and serve as peer educators. They create awareness about HIV in the village, provide support in managing the information centers, provide referrals and follow up. Moreover, they mobilize communities to participate during events, or outreach camps. They ensure that the change process gets support and acceptance from the community. LWS registered a total of 1000 volunteers in Trichirappalli district. There is a specially designed module to orient the volunteers on HIV/AIDS and sexuality, motivate them to build community ownership and encourage them to work in tandem with the team members of LWS”. Govin


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