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Nelson Mandela Foundation

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Nelson Mandela Foundation facilitators shared their experiences and challenges during the review and refinement process, which took place in February this year

April 12, 2010 – In 2009, the Nelson Mandela Foundation conducted more than 100 community conversations to address the challenges brought about by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, in 11 communities across the country.

A continuation of work done in the same communities in 2008, the conversations use the Community Capacity Enhancement (CCE) methodology to help communities find autonomous and sustainable ways to address the challenges they face.

This year, the Foundation plans to return to the 11 communities (Lerome, Mhluzi, KwaMakhutha, KwaLanga, Ngangelizwe, Lusikisiki, Kliptown, Soshanguve, Galeshewe, Giyani and Khakhala Village) to conduct a further 102 dialogues.

In preparation for this year’s community conversations series, the 35 facilitators from the communities – who had been identified, and elected, in communities through community conversations in 2008 – engaged in a reflection and review process in February this year to hone their understanding of the CCE methodology and learn from each other’s experiences.

Included in the 35 were 17 new facilitators, who were trained in the CCE methodology to further help the teams on the ground to handle their communities’ change processes.

The first segment begins in March and runs until the end of May. Although conversations have not be officially scheduled during June and July these may organically take place as per the will of the communities. The next segment will run from July to November. The community conversations planned for the first segment are as follows:

Province/Area March April May
Limpopo/Giyani Mon 22 Mon 26 Mon 10, Mon 24
North West/Lerome Wed 24 Wed 28 Wed 12, Wed 26
Free State/Thaba Nchu Fri 26 Fri 30 Fri 14, Fri 28
Northern Cape/Galeshewe Wed 17 Fri 30 Fri 14, Fri 28
Gauteng/Kliptown Wed 17 Thurs 8 Tues 4, Thurs 13
Gauteng/Soshanguve Tues 30 Tues 13 Thurs 6, Tues 18
Mpumalanga/Mhluzi Thurs 25 Thurs 15 Tues 11, Wed 26
Eastern Cape/Lusikisiki Mon 22 Mon 12 Mon 3, Mon 17
Eastern Cape/Ngangelizwe Wed 24 Wed 14 Wed 5, Wed 19
Western Cape/KwaLanga Wed 31 Wed 14 Wed 5, Wed 19
KwaZulu-Natal/KwaMakhutha Thurs 18 Thurs 15 Thurs 6, Thurs 20

“We are really excited about this year’s community conversations,” said one of the provincial co-ordinators Lesley’s Nkosi. “Firstly, this year we expect the communities to make a concerted effort to take their own change process into their own hands.

“With trained facilitators and a more aggressive partnership approach to holding conversations, there is less need for the Foundation’s presence at all conversations. The communities will now lead the process needing only technical support from the Foundation.

“The South African Council of Churches has come on board as the Foundation’s anchor partner to help make the community conversations possible. They will be housing the facilitation teams in these communities, as well as providing mentorship and guidance. This forges a much-needed partnership between the community and faith-based institutions in the battle against the spread of HIV/AIDS.”

The Foundation, in line with the government’s National Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS in South Africa 2007-2011, recognises the need for the process of change to be fully owned by communities, without needing reassurance or approval from outside forces. As such, when the community conversations first began in late 2007, the aim had been to create community owned sustainable solutions to the pandemic.

 

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