Organisational Development and Sustainability
Under this result area, AWAC has expanded services beyond urban areas to reach out to peri-urban and rural areas through strategic partnerships and strengthening grassroot community structures through feminist transformational leadership mentorship and movement building process; it has improved literacy levels among FSWs enabling them to effectively engage on matters concerning their rights in different forums; AWAC has supported to link a number of FSW CBOs and groups to many partners including district office for registration and development partners that has enabled them secure resources to deliver on their mandates;
AWAC has supported her members groups and organization in the 47 districts in pushing for and executing service expansion, quality improve, institutional, strategic development, program design, joint fundraising, providing recommendation, facilitating formal registration, fiscal hosting of resources, mentorship and support supervision, monitoring and evaluation and documentation. AWAC archieves this through the Community Health and Livelihoods Enhancement Groups (CHLEGs) Model; The AWAC CHLEGs concept was initiated during a community Facility linkage project quality improvement meeting in 2017 that paved the way for an exclusively designed Health and socioeconomic empowerment safe space for FSWs Living with HIV. The model was documented in 2018 and showcased during the 2018 National HIV Prevention symposium.
Over the years, the model has evolved to include PrEP CHLEGs for sex workers on PrEP care and the Girls action club CHLEGs; and most recently CHLEGs for FSWs with disabilities. CHLEGs safe spaces convene on a weekly basis to plan, set and review goals relating health, and socioeconomic priorities.
Overall, CHLEGs has contributed to improved HIV case finding, initiation and continuation on ART and PrEP, to reduced stigma and psychological distress, improved saving culture, financial resilience, coping, risk reduction and reduced exposure to stigma, discrimination and violence situations, denial of live sex for high pay, improved self- esteem and ability to fend for themselves, and their children, enhanced adherence to ART and PrEP, improved health seeking behaviours.
Since inception AWAC has 22 functional CHLEGs with a total of 416 members spread in Kampala, Mukono, Kyotera, Lyantonde, Isingiro, Bukomansimbi, Busia, Tororo, Masaka and Wakiso. The members have saved over UGX 600 million. Additionally, since 2019 the CHLEGs have contributed to 4489 FSWs reached with Comprehensive HIV prevention services; 3822 FSWs initiated on PrEP, while 2327 of those enrolled sustained in PrEP care continuation. 206 FSW tested HIV and initiated on ART; I89 sustained on ART continuation 156 tested for viral load and 141 virally suppressed.
Currently, AWAC has embarked on a resource mobilization campaign to strengthen safety, resilience, leadership, governance and accountability to consolidate and boost FSWs community led CHLEGS revolving saving, credit, and investment scheme across the 6 major regions of Uganda.
The AWAC Hub of Holistic Transformation (HHOT) Model: 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 furnishing of AWAC Hub of Holistic Transformation (HHOT). The hub will have a safe space for FSWs, children of sex workers and those with intersecting vulnerabilities (especially FSWs who use/inject drugs; FSWs Living with HIV/AIDS & TB; Refugee FSWs in Urban Setting; FSWs Living with Disability; Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) at high risk) survivors of violence, exploitation and conflict, healing, sharing and learning, wellness, recreational, occupational therapy and vocational facilities. AWAC HHOT will also be a hub of excellence, in trauma informed care comprised of a Mental Health Wellness Centre; Economic Empowerment Centre; Research & Innovation Centre of Excellency, facilities for Trainees & Volunteers, Conference/training halls and Shelter for survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Uganda. 325 Adult FSWs 22 CHLEGS established supported. These have managed to save over 600 million Uganda Shillings .
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.