From Learning to Action: Capacity building with Indian CSOs
Mumbai group Aarju Foundation turns learning into action to improve sexual reproductive health and HIV services for MSM.
As part of the Momentum for Integration project in South Asia, civil society organisations (CSOs) have been supported to strengthen their capacity for linking sexual reproductive health (SRH) and HIV.
The capacity development of CSOs, with support from the EU and IPPF South Asia Region, has helped them to scale up and expand their actions, as well as facilitating a learning environment that promotes advocacy and ownership.
Aarju, an NGO in Mumbai working with the community of men who have sex with men (MSM), utilised lessons learned from a capacity building workshop run by the Family Planning Association of India.
Aarju board members worked with FPA India to develop their capacity and as a result, started advocating for the SRH needs of married MSMs and their family members (mainly wives and partners).
Aarju field staff were trained to provide information on the importance of the diagnosis of SRH related problems, and to encourage MSMs and their partners to visit the MSM clinic for treatment and diagnosis.
After three to four months, a positive response was noted among married MSMs, who began to raise their SRH issues as well as their spouse’s problems. There was also an increased interest in getting HIV tests for children.
In addition to advocacy initiatives with clients and service providers, Aarju also conducted an advocacy workshop with 11 NGOs and CBOs also working in HIV/AIDS prevention programs.