How We Work
The IMAGE Project is a community-based HIV and GBV prevention programme. Based in rural South Africa, the intervention is combined with a group-based microcredit programme, with a gender and HIV training curriculum delivered monthly to female microcredit clients at their loan repayment meetings.
The purpose of IMAGE is to improve the economic well-being and independence of communities, reduce participants’ vulnerability to both HIV and GBV, and foster robust community mobilisation to address common concerns within participants’ villages. The two components of the intervention are as follows:
Project Goals and Objectives
Delivery of Curriculum
Participants attend the SFL workshops on topics including GBV, intimate partner violence, gender roles, cultural norms, HIV, and basic sex education in order to reduce their vulnerability to GBV and HIV.
Activities under this objective include the rollout of the SFL curriculum which consists of 13 workshops delivered over seven months, with each session lasting up to 40 minutes. Workshops are facilitated by trained community educators with supervision by a branch supervisor. Training for these facilitators is also an activity under this objective.
Building Community Networks
60 stakeholder partnerships per branch per annum are conducted either in person to establish partnerships with local authorities, institutions, and service providers to ensure referral and collaborative networks are in place for SFL participants. Facilitators are required to make monthly visits to these stakeholders to maintain a strong relationship.
Activities under the objective include desktop research to identify key local stakeholders, reaching out to them via an in-person visit or a phone call, and meeting with them to ensure their agreement to support IMAGE-trained participants in awareness raising and advocacy activities. These partnerships also serve to ensure they are viable referral resources for service delivery when facilitators refer women to them for further assistance.
Psychosocial Support Visits
Community Awareness Raising And Mobilisation
Each year, participants are trained in leadership and community mobilisation. These participants then conduct community actions to raise awareness about GBV, IPV and HIV in their communities and ensure access to services for survivors.
Activities under this objective include four 40-minute workshops on leadership and community mobilisation including how to develop a community mobilisation action plan. They are supported in developing and implementing a CMAP for their area based on the issue they feel is most pressing for their cluster of villages. They are introduced to the local stakeholders identified under Objective (3) in order to refer survivors to relevant service providers and to collaborate on awareness-raising events.
Scaling Sisters For Life
The IMAGE programme has reached 51 375 participants since inception.
Over the next 5 years, our specific scaling objectives is to reach a scale where we can:
• Train new facilitators and a branch supervisor in 15 branches across 5 provinces to roll out the full curriculum, offer psychosocial support visits, and support the implementation of community mobilisation action plans
• Train 15 branches at a time
• Train 34,512 new participants per annum