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Project Concern International/India (PCI) - Networking with NMP+ and SNP+

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Networking with NMP+ and SNP+
PCI implements the PATHWAY (Positive Action for the Health of People Living with HIV/AIDS) program components through these NMP + (Network of Maharashtra for people living with HIV /AIDS and SNP+ (Salem district network of people living with HIV /AIDS) in Tamilnadu.

Strengthening the Capacity of the National AIDS Control Society (NACO)
PATHWAY works on strengthening NACO’s strategic information management capacity and other relevant technical areas as per the agreement with NACO, which came into effect on April 1, 2007, and it is renewed on an annual basis through the PATHWAY LOP. This agreement with NACO enables PCI to participate actively in upgrading NACO’s TA delivery capacity, improve its information gathering and reporting systems, and develop modules, manuals, and policy guidelines and directives for smoother and more efficient management.

Enhancing the Capacity of the State AIDS Control Societies
The State AIDS Control Societies (SACSs) are state–run branches of NACO, overseeing all HIV/AIDS interventions at the state level. In many cases, they are an important conduit of resources to the NGO sector to implement targeted interventions. PCI has built successful programs with the SACSs in Tamil Nadu (and received funding for two different initiatives over the past several years), and to a lesser extent in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh (provided training on ‘How to communicate messages on HIV/AIDS among youth’ to the AP SACSs). In the North East States of Nagaland and Manipur, where PATHWAY began operations in Year Two, relationships are beginning to unfold with the respective SACSs. In Manipur, PATHWAY’s two implementing partners–SASO and SHALOM–have become members of the SACSs Coordination Committee at the state level. In all six states, PCI has a close collaborative relationship with the SACSs for the provision of ART to its clientele. During Year Four and Five, PCI will expand its relationships with the SACSs in all five targeted states, and attempt to improve linkages and relationships between the SACSs and NACO.

At the district level in those locations where PCI works, relationships with the District AIDS Coordination Committees are being developed, now that they have been given greater responsibility and authority in NACP III. For example, in Dimapur, the PATHWAY implementing agency, Akimbo Society, coordinates closely with the Coordination Committee in conducting IEC activities.

Expansion of Advocacy Initiatives
PCI was instrumental in forming the National Advocacy Partnership on HIV/AIDS (NAPHA) in Delhi. Over the years, the membership of NAPHA has grown to more than 40 members, including such organizations as UNICEF, INP+, UNESCO, AIDS Health Care Foundation, CRS, and the India HIV/AIDS Alliance. NAPHA has met periodically over the past year and developed three priority areas of work at the national level: (1) awareness on HIV issues among parliamentarians, (2) roll out of ART, and (3) legal rights of PLWHA. As part of its cross–cutting approach, PCI will further strengthen advocacy activities related to PLWHA and GIPA through NAPHA, and promote follow–on advocacy activities with its members.

Increasing Capacity Building Initiatives
PATHWAY enhances capacity building initiatives with all its stakeholders, with particular emphasis on leaders at all five sites. Activities include technical assistance and mentoring, training and capacity–enhancement to build sustainable advocacy skills, organizing meetings and other forums for stakeholder consultations to create the opportunity for leaders to emerge and engage in face–to–face interactions with PLHIV, orphans, widows, etc, and providing capacity building training for organizations and their cadre of leaders.

Enhancing the involvement of religious leaders
At the six project sites, Faith Based Organisations and religious leaders have been identified who are interested in learning more about HIV especially, care and support of PLHIV. The leaders will be supported by the project to undertake messaging of Abstinence, Be faithful and Use Condoms, as appropriate and acceptable within their institution. Specifically, faith based leaders will be engaged by PATHWAY to design and implement policies and structures (such as HIV/AIDS focal persons) in their religious community to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, promote mechanisms to support those members who are infected and affected with HIV/AIDS, and to use these structures to strengthen public and legal advocacy for PLHIV, and to expand their knowledge, attitude and behaviour in the area HIV/AIDS, and especially in CHBC.

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