Caregivers Go Global

Grassroots Academy and The International AIDS Conference 2012

In preparation for the International AIDS Conference Huairou Commission hosted the Grassroots Academy on Emerging Polices Linked to Decentralizing Health Systems and Home-Based Care Alliance Organizing.  At the Academy, 18 caregivers from 8 countries across Africa analyzed how the emerging trends of primary health care reform, growing community health worker programs, and social protection schemes are affecting the recognition and compensation of home-based caregivers in the current funding environment.

Participants of The Grassroots Academy also examined the various strategies used by Home-based Care Alliances at local and national levels to gain recognition and compensation for caregivers.  Participants refined the core elements of regional collaboration, developed a collective advocacy strategy, established key organizing benchmarks including a grassroots leadership development process, and prepared short and long-term action plans for each national Alliance.

The Academy also included a Partner Dialogue, in which policy makers, donors and academics working in the field were invited to share their perspectives on opportunities for formalizing recognition of home-based caregiver’s contributions to the global AIDS response in funding and decision-making processes. Caregivers shared the challenges they experience and the specific strategies that organized groups of grassroots women caregivers are engaging in.

Following the Academy, participants will attend the International AIDS Conference. The IAC is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV, and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. Participants will engage with partners, track the trends of the conference, participate in daily caucuses, and support their sisters presenting in workshops.

2010 Conference on HIV Care and Support: A Roadmap to Universal Success by 2015

Caregivers at the Conference on HIV Care and Support 2010, London

The 2010 Conference on HIV Care and Support was co-hosted by the Department for International Development (DFID), and the UK Consortium on AIDS and International Development in London, England. The purpose of this conference was to highlight that HIV community care, support, and caregivers are critical to achieving Universal Access and key goals in broader health and development agendas. An additional goal of the conference was to make concrete recommendations for the scale up of community care and support to 2015.

Caregivers from the Home-based Care Alliance from across Africa attended the Conference. Two secondary caregivers from the Caregivers’ Action Network, Violet Shivutse and Eric Chikukwa were presenters at a panel discussion about Care and Support in the Community. Their messages were clear; a careful gender analysis is essential to addressing the neglect and challenges facing community level healthcare, as well as the role of gender inequality and poverty in community care. Additionally, they discussed the key links between individuals, families, community home-based care organizations, and formal health facilities.

53rd Commission on the Status of Women

CSW 2009On March 5, 2009, the 53rd Commission on the Status of Women convened in New York.  Home-based caregivers from community-based organizations in 10 countries called for 40 percent of HIV/AIDS funds to target investments in community-led initiatives by 2011, including home-based care which majority of the time is delivered by the poorest of the poor.

This international alliance of home-based caregivers and their partners are calling for Member States to:

  • Recognize, affirm and support community caregivers by including them as decision-makers in design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of resources and programs.
  • Increase the quality of accessible funding for caregiving and earmark a minimum percentage of direct funding support for community-led responses to AIDS, particularly those driven by women.
  • Strengthen and expand public health care services and human resources for health by increasing international and national funding, in a continuum of care that supports women and girls providing care services in their households and communities in the context of HIV/AIDS.
  • Protect and promote women’s land and inheritance rights.
  • Reduce household poverty and the cost of care through government provision of basic services and social protection measures, as well as building the capacity of community-based organizations to develop livelihoods initiatives for care.

This year’s CSW was focused on “The Equal Sharing of Responsibility between Women and Men, including Caregiving in the Context of HIV/AIDS”. Within this context, home-based caregivers and their partners in the Caregivers Action caucus have been reframing the issue. The equal sharing of responsibility, particularly in terms of care, is an important topic, but it will take a long-term  process to change attitudes and behaviors. But first, local and national governments, donors and development agencies must value, scale up and invest in what women are already doing.

You can find the full report below.

CSW Report 2009

YWCA International Women’s Summit

From July 4-8, 2007, the YWCA convened the first conference focusing specifically on Women and AIDS.

The four-day Grassroots Academy showcased the strategies, successes, challenges and leadership of grassroots women. A particular focus was put on what grassroots women have been able to accomplish from their own initiative, without outside support from donors. This practice-sharing led to concrete follow up plans being laid, including for peer exchanges and expansion of the Home-Based Care Alliance. The  Compensation for Contributions Campaign was also launched at the Academy, in which grassroots home-based caregivers began to count and monetize their contributions to the AIDS response.YWCA

Some of the goals members of GROOTS International identified for this Grassroots Academy were:

  • To identify innovative new groups and practices.
  • To expose and orient new groups to our members, networks, innovations and Campaigns.
  • To stimulate cooperative opportunities for on-going collaboration, networking, peer learning and advocacy.
  • To ensure full participation and energy, strong sharing and learning experiences.
  • To emerge from the Academy with strong messages to bring into the YWCA Summit and beyond.

Read the Full Report Below.

YWCA Report 2007

International AIDS Conference- Mexico City 2008

The theme at this year’s International AIDS Conference was Universal Action Now. The purpose of the conference was to synthesize different AIDS responses from public health sector prevention and treatment initiatives to community-based organizing.

Mexico City

The conference was separated into three different tracks:

  • Scientific
  • Community
  • Leadership

The International AIDS Society wishes to meld initiatives in scientific-based treatment and prevention with the needs of communities. They see leadership as a broad term, encompassing grassroots leaders, as well as high-profile and elected officials.

The Peer Exchange and Conference program focus on positioning the African leaders of our Campaign as experts and opening venues for them to share their concrete strategies, knowledge and approaches to HIV and AIDS through two mechanisms:

  • Through an exchange with their peers in Latin American working in indigenous communities in Guatemala and Honduras who have developed their own expertise on community development (particularly in the areas of resilience building).
  • Through the International AIDS Conference itself. The Conference will also be a venue for our Latin American members to identify other community-based actors and supportive partners to launch their own organizing platforms in response to HIV and AIDS.

For more information visit:

Access the full report below.

IAC Report- Mexico City

Grassroots International Academy

The Grassroots Women’s International Academy was the 12th Grassroots Women’s International Academy held globally, and the third held regionally in Africa. The Academy focused on grassroots women’s responses to HIV and AIDS. The Academy, hosted by GROOTS Kenya was held in Nairobi from June 29th to July 3rd 2007.

Grassroots Academy

The Grassroots Academy was attended by 90 women from 34 organizations in 16 countries (Eastern, Western, Southern Africa, India and Guatemala), working in tens of thousand communities. More than half were grassroots women from self-help groups representing significant constituencies, and most of the rest were NGO staff supporters of grassroots women’s groups and 3 were local government representatives. A special effort was made to include non-African members of GROOTS and the Huairou Commission, in order to bring a global perspective to the AIDS Campaign, and to share the lessons learned and good strategies developed by grassroots women in Africa over the past 20 years of coping with HIV and AIDs with organized groups of grassroots women from outside of Africa.

The goals of this Academy were:

  • To identify innovative new groups and practices.
  • To expose and orient new groups to our members, networks, innovations and Campaigns.
  • To stimulate cooperative opportunities for ongoing collaboration, networking, peer learning and advocacy.
  • To emerge from the Academy with strong messages to bring to the international community.

The Academy program included activities and time for grassroots participants to analyze their contributions in responding to HIV and AIDS see and appreciate their own capacities; analyze their situations and survival strategies; organize themselves for impact, internally and externally, and partner on a proactive agenda.

Finally, the Grassroots Academy closed with a Partner’s Dialogue. Grassroots women spoke about who they are and the important work they do, and called on the partners to put resources into the hands of grassroots women and to use their positions and connections to advocate for changes in the way that resources are distributed. In these presentations they demonstrated how much they had learned from each other and the common agenda they had been able to forge over 4 days, despite their different nationalities, languages and contexts.

The NGO partners in the Academy shared their experiences participating in the Grassroots Academy and the effect of being exposed to successful grassroots organizing initiatives. Grassroots groups were also joined by representatives of institutions committed to partnering with grassroots women’s organizations and networks. The partners shared their funding philosophies, opportunities, contacts, and committed themselves to linking us into the international Women’s Summit, and beyond.

4 thoughts on “Caregivers Go Global”

  1. Mazielyn d mcintosh said:

    we as women can change the world, with out N.g.o what would happen in our world As women we can get so much work dun, Trough cooperation,and will power,Thanks to you ladies tumbs up. helping A sister is helping us .WE HAVE TO TRY TO keep informing our people about these diseases,The world is a global community.We all are at risk.

  2. Home Based Care Alliance said:

    Oli otya, Nyabbo. Thank you so much Sarah for getting in touch! I just looked at your website (it’s great!) and we’ll be in touch to see how we can work together.

  3. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through
    many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m certainly pleased I came
    across it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

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