Inaugural issue of AIR Thoughts: Breaking the Walls of Trauma Counselling

The inaugural edition of AIR Thoughts is out! The AIR Thoughts series profiles fresh analysis by African practitioners around how to tackle the interrelated issues of violence against women and girls, HIV/AIDS and emotional wellbeing and mental health. In Issue 1, Breaking the Walls of Trauma Counselling, South African social worker Mpumi Zondi explores the complexities of working on trauma. Drawing on experiences and case studies from the work of Sophiatown Community Clinical Psychological Read more [...]

A victory for preventing violence against women and the gendered spread of HIV: The SASA! study results

The results of groundbreaking study on the SASA! model (profiled in AIR Tools here) are now published and show that it is possible to prevent violence against women and changing gendered risk behaviors around HIV. The research itself was a collaboration between Uganda-based Raising Voices and its national partner the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP), and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Makerere University. Using a randomized control method, 8 communities Read more [...]

SASA! : Programming innovations in preventing VAW and HIV/AIDS

Although historically much of our attention has been focused on responding to violence against women and girls, there is now growing momentum to design interventions aimed at primary prevention- preventing VAWG before it happens. Kampala-based organisation Raising Voices- an AIR Steering Committee member- is among the leaders in this field. Raising Voices continues to develop cutting-edge prevention programming while also contributing to research and analysis around how to build effective prevention Read more [...]

In the AIR Toolbox: The Polyclinic of Hope and integrated responses to women and girls survivors of the Rwandan genocide

What does it take to respond to violence against women and girls in armed conflict in a holistic way that acknowledges women’s own agency to heal, and assures that rights to health, justice and are met? The Rwanda Women’s Network an AIR Steering Committee member, documents their experiences of responding to the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and the establishment of the groundbreaking Polyclinic of Hope. In A Journey of Recovery: The Experience of the Polyclinic of Hope Women, the Rwanda Women's Read more [...]

In the AIR Toolbox: Isis-WICCE’s Model of Empowerment

As the world’s attention increasingly focuses on the impacts of armed conflict on African women and girls, we consider what we can learn from organizations in the field. Isis-WICCE, a Kampala-based international organization and AIR Steering Committee member, has been in the midst of this work for over two decades. In Isis-WICCE’s model of empowerment, the organisation tells its own story of its pioneering model for holistic intervention that keeps the women and girls most affected at the heart Read more [...]

Bending the reeds: Shaping AIR’s programming

In  November 2013, AIR's Steering Committee met in Johannesburg, South Africa to shape its priority activities over the next three years. AIR ‘s work is organised around three programme strategies (Generate and Build; Respond; Amplify ) which speak to how we do our work. From 2014-2016, AIR’s work will focus on the following three themes, with activities across the three programme strategies: 1. (Re)conceptualising trauma- contributing to new frameworks for working on trauma, drawing Read more [...]

Sustaining frontline staff: A mental health intervention at Panzi Hospital

In 2011 and 2012, AIR in partnership with the Stephen Lewis Foundation supported a technical support and solidarity initiative with Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo focused on the mental and emotional health needs of Panzi staff. Panzi Hospital is known worldwide for its brave and pioneering services and advocacy around sexual violence and innovations in gynaecological surgery and fistula repair. However the hospital’s own staff conduct this work in a context of constant Read more [...]

Responding to the attack on Dr. Mukwege, Panzi Hospital

In the wake of the attempted assassination of Dr. Denis Mukwege, Medical Director of Panzi Hopsital, and AIR Steering Committee member in October 2012, Jessica Horn and Leah Teklemariam reflect on the meaning of solidarity and the importance of both Dr. Mukwege and Panzi as African leadership.  The article was originally published on 18 March 2013 on the Our Africa platform of open Democracy 50:50. Panzi hospital: a critical pulse for justice, peace and health Congo's women survivors, standing Read more [...]

Building cultures of documentation: A pilot initiative

Working on the frontlines of violence against women and girls, HIV/AIDS and mental/emotional health requires a sharp mind, quick feet, and an openness to finding creative ways to respond even when resources are constrained.  Activists and service providers hold a tremendous amount of practical knowledge and technical expertise on how best to intervene to both prevent and respond to these interrelated issues in ways that are adapted to the social, economic and infrastructural realities where they Read more [...]

Beginning to Weave: The Inaugural AIR Steering Committee Meeting

From 18 - 19 May, 2012, AIR held a convening in Accra, Ghana to establish its inaugural Steering Committee.  Made up of seven African practitioner-activist organisations and individuals, the committee will oversee AIR’s programmatic develop and guide governance decisions.  During the meeting the Steering Committee established the framework for AIR’s programming as well as a guideline for its values and organisational culture, revolving around a commitment to creating an “initiative with a Read more [...]