Our grassroots partners have a number of key strengths that make them invaluable to development initiatives and the fight against HIV/AIDS. They are culturally sensitive, long-term focused, employ locally and build local skills, and have an in-depth understanding of the issues on the ground and how to best go about responding to them. These community-based organizations – be they associations of positive women, youth peer support organizations or committees of local leaders – have long been responding to the challenge of HIV/AIDS in their communities, making the most of meager resources and volunteer energy to educate others about HIV prevention, provide care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS and support orphans.
However, they are often faced with a number of challenges. Few organizations have access to information on best practices, capital for investing in needed projects, means for networking or access to funding opportunities. All of these things can limit the impact of their work.
As with all CAP Network initiatives, CAP/AIDS funds support work with our core partners in Africa to determine training needs and develop appropriate systems and tools to improve their capacity for good governance, financial management and project implementation. Through our overall engagement with organizations we provide training opportunities, feedback and mentorship, and continuous means for networking, learning, and engagement.
The CAP Network also uses a ‘learning through doing’ model, implementing locally appropriate projects side-by-side with our partners and facilitating shared learning opportunities where African partners can learn from from each other, share ideas and develop partnerships.
Impact and Results
To-date, CAP/AIDS has partnered with more than 15 community-based organizations in African communities helping them to build capacity for implementation of projects, develop strong and appropriate governance and financial management systems. Our alumni partners are testament to how with these foundations in place, local organizations are able to take on a leadership role in community development initiatives – registering with local authorities, developing their own responsive projects and seeking funding for their work in their own right. Many of our partners are now working independently and even working to help pass on their knowledge and expertise to newer partners in our network.