Becoming community leaders

How we stopped complaining and started to do something…

There are 2 items that are related in the Self Assessment framework. One is the involvement of Community Leaders in HIV/AIDS work and the other one is mobilising resources. The first time that we did the Self Assessment, there were a lot of complaints that the Community Leaders were not interested in HIV/AIDS work and they weren’t supporting any of our projects.

So we asked ourselves how do we get the Community Leaders involved and we decided that the best way was for us to become Community Leaders ourselves. So that is what we have done. We have managed to get a few people to run for office and they have been successful in the elections to the Local Government. Whereas in the beginning we did not have public support from the Local Government, after the elections we started to get funds. 

And since then the funds have been pouring in to support our projects. We have to push our policies at the decision making level. Now there is no complaint that the Community Leaders are not participating, because WE are the Community Leaders. And some people have remarked that our election to the Local Government reflects the extent of the work that we had done in the community. So the community recognises how much we have devoted ourselves to this kind of work and that won their hearts and has led to our election.