Ousmane’s world fell apart when he found out he was HIV positive.
Bit by bit, he rebuilt his life with help from the doctors and counselors of the ARCAD-SIDA sexual health clinic in Bamako. Today, thanks to his daily antiretroviral treatment, he is no longer contagious and can lead a normal life. Hundreds of people like Ousmane are being helped by the Coalition PLUS network.
A community-based network not like the others
Coalition PLUS is a key player in the fight against HIV. It was created in 2008, as a network of nearly 100 member organizations in 52 countries in Africa, the Americas, the Indian Ocean and Europe.
“A team coordinates each platform to provide capacity building for the organizations’ action on the ground,” explains Florence Giard, Assistant Director of the Coalition PLUS network. “For example, the Mauritian organization PILS, which leads the Indian Ocean platform, is working with the public authorities in Madagascar to set up a pilot project for community screening.”
Access to care for all
“From the start of the adventure, AFD provided invaluable support for setting up this innovative system of delegated management,” explains Estelle Tiphonnet, Director of Partnerships and Capitalization at Coalition PLUS. “It came in the form of support for implementing technical assistance to the partner organizations, which are in charge of providing, in their regions, medical and psycho-social care for sick or exposed populations and of delivering their community expertise.”
Giving a voice to those most affected
AFD has been a part of the network’s efforts to professionalize their advocacy – now one of its strong points. It puts the voice of those who have survived and suffered from the diseases at the heart of discussions with public authorities. “The fact that these organizations give a voice to those most affected by the fight is crucial,” says Pierre Salignon, Head of AFD’s Partnerships with Civil Society Organizations Department. “They are the ones best able to change the way things are done in circumstances where access to care is difficult and where the most vulnerable people are often stigmatized, discriminated against, or even punished.”
A 100% “social link” partnership
By supporting Coalition PLUS, AFD is working to improve people’s everyday lives. In 2018, the AFD–Coalition Plus partnership was renewed for three years and now pursues two new goals: strengthening the effectiveness of advocacy to inform and influence decision-makers, and consolidating the internal organization of the regional platforms. The member organizations will now be able to back up their advocacy using the results of research carried out jointly by researchers and community actors.