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Widows, Orphans and People living with HIV/AIDS - Sudan

WOPHA

Introduction

Widows, Orphans and People Living with HIV/AIDS (WOPHA) is one of the first community-based organisations established in Yei River County of Southern Sudan by people living with and affected by HIV. The organisation was formed in 2002 at a time when knowledge about HIV was very low, stigma was very high and HIV-positive women were abandoned by their families and deprived of their children and property. Initially started by eight widows who self-repatriated from Uganda to support each other, the group today promotes awareness among community members about HIV prevention, counselling and testing, positive living, stigma and discrimination, and gender-based violence. WOPHA formed the first club for people living with HIV in Southern Sudan and linked it to clubs for people living with HIV in Arua, Uganda. Because antiretroviral treatment was not available in Southern Sudan at that time, the organisation also formed networks with hospitals in Arua and facilitated referrals for treatment, while initiating a home-based care system that conducts home visits and provides food and bedside care for people living with HIV who cannot be supported by local hospitals. Through local solutions that cater to the immediate needs of its members, WOPHA’s work encourages members of the community to get tested, adopt safer behaviors, and be open about their status while empowering them psychologically and economically to take control of their lives.

Successes

Profile in Brief
Organisation
Widows, Orphans and People living with HIV/AIDS
Region
Africa
Classification
Community-Based Organisation
Field of Work
Stigma and Discrimination
Economic Empowerment
Gender
Prevention
Human Rights
Populations Served
Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)
Widows
People with Disabilities
Founded
2002
Staff
30 volunteers, 7 full-time, 16 part-time
  • Improvement in HIV disclosure within community (from 6% at inception to 67% in late 2009)
  • Gained respect of the community and local authorities, who granted the organisation a piece of land where they have constructed their office.
  • WOPHA now has a dedicated team of staff members (as opposed to the early days when the organisation was run solely by volunteers).
  • People living with HIV are empowered to take charge of their lives and are  better able to provide for their families and send their children to school
  • Ninety-seven orphans and vulnerable children are being cared for, four of whom are living with HIV.
  • WOPHA’s pioneered home-based care programme in southern Sudan actively strives to promote positive living.
  • Successfully lobbying and advocacy for the rights and recognition of people living with HIV by the local government and the entire community of Yei River County
  • In 2009, through the income generation activity project funded by UNDP through Alliance, WOPHA was able to send 51 youths to schools in Uganda.


Partnerships

  • Ministry of Health
  • Local authority
  • Presbyterian Church of Sudan
  • World Food Programme
  • American Refugee Committee
  • Other community-based organisation

Contact

Telephone: 256477121832
Address: 
Lasu Road
Yei
Central Equatoria
Sudan