Categorized | Featured, National News

Local AIDS Organisations Receive Training


Several local HIV/AIDS organisations have been identified by the US President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to receive special training from US non-profit organisation, World Learning.
Among the organisations selected are The Bahamas Red Cross Society, The Bahamas AIDS Foundation, Bahamas United Initiatives Ltd. and the Bahamas Urban Youth Development Centre.
United States and Bahamian government officials attended the official launch Wednesday of the Caribbean Grant Solicitation and Management Programme, a new PEPFAR initiative that will be executed locally by World Learning through USAID, at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel.
US Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman, the Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez along with representatives from PEPFAR, USAID, World Learning, UNAIDS, and PAHO participated in the opening session. 
Mr. Dinkelman highlighted that the PEPFAR Partnership Framework which was signed by the Ministry of Health in 2010, provides technical assistance in the thematic areas of prevention, strategic information, laboratory strengthening and health systems strengthening.  
He also recognised the important role that civil society organisations play in combating the spread of HIV due their advantages in the field, including increased access to the most at-risk populations and program flexibility which enables them to respond quickly to the evolving nature of the HIV epidemic.
“There is a critical need to build and strengthen civil society organizations that are committed to working with communities impacted by HIV,” Mr. Dinkelman said.  “We know that local organisations already play a critical role in helping to implement the working plan of the Bahamas National AIDS Program and our goal, through the World Learning program, is to contribute further to enhancing these efforts.”
The Chargé also announced the Embassy’s call for small grants proposal under the PEPFAR Small Grants Program inviting community based organizations, non-government organizations, faith-based organizations, businesses, clubs, schools, and individuals to submit proposals for one-time grant up to $10,000 for projects that promote HIV/AIDS awareness. 
The main goals of these grants include: educating people, especially youth, about HIV/AIDS and thereby preventing its spread; reducing stigma and encouraging safe practices for those living with the disease; and supporting communities to cooperate in fighting the epidemic. Project proposals are being accepted through November 16. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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