New partner shares human rights experience
Having met the Alliance’s 38 accreditation standards, the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law & HIV/AIDS (BONELA) signed the Charter and Linking Agreement and began to share their experience around human rights and HIV programming.
BONELA is a recognised civil society voice in the fight against the HIV and AIDS pandemic in a country with an HIV prevalence rate of 24.8% for 15-49 year olds.
It brings to the Alliance a wealth of experience of advocating for a human rights based approach in the national HIV response, including difficult work with key populations in the African context, and successfully promoting reform in national policy and legal frameworks.
BONELA strives to create a just and enabling environment for people affected by HIV and AIDS by providing access to justice including legal aid, conducting research on issues faced by those affected by HIV and TB, and building partnerships to strengthen civil society.
The Alliance works to create opportunities for members to learn directly from each other through dialogue and exchange and to support Linking Organisations who have become models of good practice to share their experiences.
BONELA had three such opportunities last year:
- Uyapo Ndadi, director of BONELA joined the directors of two other Alliance Linking Organisations (the South Africa AIDS Consortium and MONASO in Mozambique) on an induction visit to the Alliance international secretariat in the UK. During the visit he had the opportunity to learn more about Alliance support around HIV programming, international advocacy and organisational development and attend a meeting with Alliance trustees. “I found the transparency and firm grasp of issues by the trustees remarkable,” said Uyapo.
- BONELA presented their work on human rights and legal literacy at the annual Africa regional ‘blue sky week’ in Burundi to 14 other Africa based Linking Organisations, many of whom are hoping to more fully adopt a human rights based approach to HIV programming, including expanding to or strengthening their work with men who have sex with men and sex workers.
- Anna Chalmers, resource mobilisation officer from BONELA showcased BONELA’s work to around 20 key donors in the AIDS response at the Alliance’s annual donor meeting in the UK.
Uyapo commented on joining the Alliance, “We can only express how privileged we feel to be associated with such an honourable giant in the world of human rights and HIV. Through being part of the Alliance, we are hoping to increase our capacity to strengthen communities and to harness financial support for human rights advocacy.”