A one-year pilot project co-funded by the Irish NGO Misean Cara and the Anglo American Foundation Trust was implemented in poverty-stricken Winterveld, Tshwane District, Gauteng Province in an effort to promote innovative ways to tackle the dual epidemics of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).

The project was grounded in peer-education and behavior-change methodologies that followed a two-phase process:

  • Phase 1 (“train-the-trainer”) improved the competence of 15 community advocates on HIV-GBVF and how to pass what they learnt to fellow community members. This phase was grounded in the learning approach “Visualisation In Participatory Programmes” (VIPP), which encourages participants to contribute to their own learning.
  • Phase 2 (“empower-the-community”) empowered 3,144 vulnerable people along with community leaders and duty bearers to be part of the solution in the fight against HIV-GBVF and enabled access to essential services for needy community members. This phase was spearheaded by a network of 15 trained community advocates in collaboration with community groups, role models and concerned stakeholders.

The project was co-implemented by the community-based organization, Kopano Lerato, run by the Sisters of Mercy, in partnership with the Missionary Sisters of the Assumption.


    There is a scourge of gender-based violence in South Africa which calls on everyone to recognize that gender equality starts with us – in our home, school, workplace, parish, the community we serve, and in all the discussions we have.

    We at CATHCA believe that it is our individual and collective responsibility as women and men to stand up against negative values, stereotypes, attitudes, and behaviours that violate women’s rights, degrade gender equality and trigger gender-based violence.

    We all need to play a more conscious role in fighting the unhealthy patriarchal mindset and socio-cultural norms – sadly accepted by many men and women – that fuel violence against women and women’s subjugation, subordination and objectification.


    Catholic Health Care Association

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    Phone: 011 880-4022
    Email: jane.sutherland@cathca.org

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