AWAC’S programming comparative advantage:
AWAC is committed to delivering effective and excellent integrated HIV/TB and SRH quality service to FSWs including prevention of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in hard to reach areas such as slums, landing sites, transit routes and boarder areas. To achieve this AWAC developed her innovative models as explained and illustrated below;
AWAC’s Innovative Models
1. Peer Strengths Footsteps (PSF) Model: This taps into a peer’s latent strengths and challenge her to mobilize, lead, mentor, breathe faith and radiate the same competence to those who come to walk in her footsteps. With AWAC’s support, these peers evolve from emerging peer leaders to group leaders to CBO leaders who later strengthen other groups to become CBOs.
2. The Community Health and Livelihoods Enhancement Groups (CHLEGs) & Drop in Centre (DiC) Model is instrumental in increasing targeted HIV/AIDS testing yield, supporting linkages, adherence, disclosure, index contact tracing as well as reducing stigma and discrimination against Female Sex Workers (FSWs) at individual, community and national levels.
This is also a cocktail of health, socio- economic support in one safe space network in the community or hotspot level. They are useful in demand creation for HTS, supporting adherence, index contact tracing, disclosure, retention into care and saving through CoSLAs (Community Saving and Loans associations). The Drop-in Centre: This is a responsive friendly services facility located in the community where female sex workers drop by to relax, share personal stories/experiences access basic health information including PrEP, PEP, Family Planning, and commodities such as HTS, SRH services, condoms, lubricants and ART.
3). Community Human rights & Sustainable Development Goals Accelerators (CHuSA); The model seeks to empower grassroot Rural and Peri-urban FSWs as Champions of Human Rights & SDGs Acceleration to initiate & implement well-coordinated, innovative rights-based interventions that fast-track SDGs in their respective communities, using the SDG Squeeze Dance concept. The ‘Squeeze Dance’ evokes visions of partners dancing in perfect synchronization, their bodies moving together every step of the way, in harmony with the music.
The “SDGs Squeeze Dance Campaign” through the CHuSAs spreads the vibe of working in unison cross all levels leaving no one behind in quest for hastening of the SDGs. CHuSAs are challenged to contribute to acceleration of 2030 targets including Good Health and Wellbeing, reduced poverty, hunger and inequalities, quality education, peaceful and inclusive societies, sustainable and resilient environment. The above are achieved through the following; mentorship and feminist transformation leadership trainings for emerging & grassroot for FSW leaders; National Annual Sex Workers Dialogue (NASWD) and National SDGs Squeeze Dance Campaigns Review Meetings; Safe Space dialogues or inception meetings with strategic stakeholders; research & documentation, policy briefs, developing and disseminating assorted IEC materials. Aware that creating an enabling environment is critical to acceleration of SDGs, priority is equally given to challenging criminalization which fuel stigma, discrimination and human rights violations among female sex workers, sexual partners and third parties; tackle gender inequalities and all forms of gender-based violence; advocate for comprehensive sexuality educations and decriminalization of Sex Work in Uganda.
4.Girls Action Clubs (GACs) are tailored safe spaces where adolescent girls and young women at high risk living in high burden areas such as slums, landing sites, transit routes and boarder areas commune to share challenges, opportunities and positive behavior change practices to reduce health and socio-economic risks and vulnerabilities. In the GACs safe spaces, AGYW at high risk are able to expand their range of choices through socio-economic empowerment schemes including life skills, business startup, life and entrepreneurship, talent development, innovation and creative arts, apprenticeship, leadership and advocacy movement building initiative and human rights trainings. These spaces also provide them with peer led psychosocial support and counseling services.
5) The HerLegacy Initiative: In a bid to strategically sustain and accelerate investments towards fulfilling AWAC’s mandate even after donor funding is no more, AWAC established the HerLegacy Fund (HLF) initiative. HLF initiative is aimed at financing the construction and furnishing of AWAC Institute of Holistic Transformation (IHT)–Heritagethat will be comprised of a Mental Health Wellness Centre; Economic Empowerment Centre; Research and Innovation Centre of Excellency, facilities for Trainees & Volunteers, Conference/training halls and Shelter for survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Uganda
The initiative sets to champion innovation and to economically empower FSWs to diversify their income, since female sex workers do not have opportunities to access Government social protection benefits such as National Social Security Funds (NSSF)-therefore these savings can help female sex workers cater for their basic needs after retirement. Among the avenues for raising resources to this initiative include; staff contribution, consultancy services, donor contribution, membership fees and Donations both on line and in-kind contributions, Car washing, expos/exhibitions, Dinners, Marathons and Research.