PCP HIV AIDS Toolkit/LGUs
HIV/AIDS Activities with the Local Government Unit
Identifying Legitimate Counterpart(s)
Implementing HIV/AIDS activities within the community, outside of your assigned NGO or school can sound daunting if you don’t know who to contact. During your courtesy calls after you have arrived at site, visit your City Health Office and introduce yourself to the City Health Officer. Tell her or him that you are a Peace Corps Volunteer in _______ for the next two years are interested in working together with the City Health Office on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Awareness activities. This will be good time to ask about on-going HIV/AIDS awareness activities, past activities, if there is an active or established Local AIDS Council, if there is a STI/HIV/AIDS Coordinator for area, etc. Ask about what services are provided either at the city health office or rural health units regarding STI testing and screenings, condom availability, HIV/AIDS testing, family planning/reproductive health information dissemination, etc.; this will give you an idea about where you can begin with activities while still respecting your counterparts.
You may not have a particular project idea in mind at this point, but identifying a reliable and motivated counterpart is crucial for the success of your project. Finding a counterpart such as the STI/HIV/AIDS Coordinator, the barangay health center, or another health professional gives legitimacy to the work you will be doing in the community.
Establishing the Project
After you have identified a reliable counterpart and established a sense of understanding on the direction of your HIV/AIDS work, identify target beneficiaries of your HIV/AIDS activities. Are you wanting to plan a community outreach campaign, are you wanting to work with the SK, conduct trainings for barangay health care workers? Other possible awareness activities could include:
- World AIDS Day (December 1) – candlelight vigil, parade
- Radio Program spotlights – guest speakers, true stories, Q&A
- Red Ribbon Campaign
- Sticker Campaign (Jeepneys/Trikes)
- Establish a Local AIDS Council
- Contests with exhibits-poster, poetry, short story, song writing
- Health Fair – AIDS/HIV as one component
- Education/Testing in Entertainment Establishments
- SK/OSY HIV Leadership Trainings
- Videoke/talent contest
- Walk-A-Thon, 5k Walk/Run, Bike Race
- Battle of the Bands
- Performances – ballet, contemporary dance, music, dramas
Craft a rough outline of what you want to accomplish and what resources it will take:
- Where will funding come from?
- Can you source out for donations (in-kind or cash); if so where to?
- Delegate roles-who will be responsible for what?
- What is your time-line for this planning, organizing, and implementing?
- How many days will your project be?
- Where will it be held?
- Will the LGU need to donate time, staff, or equipment to the project?
- Why is this project a need? How will this help the beneficiaries or community?
- What will happen after the implementation?
The important thing to remember when designing the project is to make sure your counterpart is offering as much if not more input than you. The drive and motivation really needs to come from the counterpart if you want your project to be sustainable and successful. The counterpart knows the needs of her/his community and knows what will be accepted and what won’t…..
If you are working with a counterpart, let’s say, from the rural health clinic, you will not only need to inform her/his supervisor(s) of the project but the mayor as well. Present to the mayor, city health officer, and any others involved your outlined proposal and any requests for funding. Depending upon your project, you may need to seek the assistance from the office of the mayor or city health office.
Gathering Resources and Developing Activities
Delegate tasks and responsibilities to different members involved in the project, you DO NOT have to do it all! Your local counterparts know where to get materials or who to contact if you need guest speakers, etc. The more they do, the more they own the project. This is the time to solicit letters for donations, deliver communication letters to schools, venues, and invite participants and honorary speakers or facilitators. If you will be working with the SK, meet with the SK chairperson to share your project proposal and ask if there is any way to incorporate your project in their ongoing activities.
Meet regularly with your counterpart(s) to share what has been done, evaluate to-do lists and to monitor that you are on schedule with project planning and organizing.
When confirming venues or donations it is a good idea to have the establishment/donor sign a memorandum of agreement stating their name, what they will give, and when they will give. Both you and the establishment will have copy. Reconfirm regularly with bookings and follow up with donors reminding them of the dates up until you implement or receive your materials.
With your counterpart, make sure the venue is ready the day before (appropriate amount of chairs, sound system in place, and a board if necessary). Make sure any handouts or visual aids are copied and ready. Be prepared for guest speakers that don’t show up; have back-up work-shops or seminars prepared. Don’t forget certificates for invited participants and certificates/mementos for guest speakers. Even if you did not work directly with the Mayor or City Health Officer, invite them to the certificate awarding ceremony and present them with a certificate of thanks honoring them of their support for the project.
Follow-up is important if you want to evaluate the learning from your project. If your HIV/AIDS project was an HIV/AIDS Prevention Leadership training for the SK, what will they do following the training to educate the community about HIV/AIDS prevention? If your project’s participants were entertainment workers, how will you evaluate whether or not they are engaging in safe sexual practices? Follow-up and evaluating the project are just as important as the planning and implementing.