This article recognizes the people who work in partnership everyday to uplift each other’s lives. One of such individuals is Daliso Lungu, a health technician at the hospital in Shiwa Ng’andu District, Zambia. Through the Southern African Nutrition Initiative (SANI), Mr. Lungu works alongside the Chikanjebela Women’s Club (CWC) to improve the health outcomes of women and children living with or affected by HIV.
Mr. Lungu has accompanied CWC during sensitization meetings in the project’s catchment area in Chimpundu and Kalebe Wards, and regularly consults with club members concerning HIV related issues.
Thanks to the ongoing interactions and shared learnings among CWC members, project staff and beneficiaries, the project has been making a lasting difference in the lives of HIV-positive and HIV-impacted women and children.
Treatment adherence has improved, and beneficiaries are now able to make better decisions related to proper nutrition and positive living.
Since the beginning of the project, the women have been growing kitchen gardens and have been supported with chickens. Mr. Lungu is encouraged to see that they are keeping the chickens without selling or eating them before seeing beneficial results, like laying eggs or hatching chicks. This is helping to ensure balanced household diets.
The women are also learning new ways of preparing food for their families with locally available foods, including produce from their gardens, which also contributes to improved nutrition and immunity levels.
“The project has motivated me and showed me that by working together with other stakeholders, it’s easier to achieve that which we want to achieve,” shared Mr. Lungu. “I also realize my involvement plays a role that motivates other people to take part in the project.”
These stakeholders also include men in the community. According to Mr. Lungu, the project has contributed to continuous changes in terms of gender equality, with most men now giving room to women in decision making, and some participating in helping women with duties that tradition considers to be taboo.
Most importantly, the women are appreciative of the project’s efforts and feel supported in learning all that the project can offer to the community in ensuring their lives are constantly improved.
SANI is a project of CARE Canada funded through Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD) is leading a capacity-building initiative under SANI to improve the health outcomes of women and children living with or impacted by HIV in Malawi and Zambia and has engaged CAP network as Twinning partner working with CWC and the Children’s Participation Inclusive Education – Mpika (CPIEM) in Zambia.
Twinning is a formal, substantive collaboration between two or more civil society organizations (CSOs), which aims to provide a platform for the two-way exchange of knowledge, expertise and strengthening of capacity on specific project related approaches, strategies, interventions, and lessons learned from local contexts.
CWC is a Zambian CSO dedicated to reducing poverty and uplifting the living standards of people – particularly orphans, vulnerable children and women – in Chimpundu and Kalebe Wards, providing care and support to people living with HIV/AIDS and creating employment among women and youth.
Through the initiative, CAP Network is working with CWC to develop a sustainable governance model, support capacity building in financial and project management and to implement a project with the goal of increasing knowledge and skills of Club members and people living with HIV related to HIV, nutrition, gender and sexual and reproductive health and rights.