It has become blatantly clear in any language that more people are becoming sick and many more are succumbing to the epidemic of HIV/AIDS. We cannot deny that this HIV/AIDS is causing stress, anxiety and panic amongst our people as we realise that nobody is immune to the HI virus any longer.
However, there are perceptions, rightly or wrongly, that men are responsible for the rampant spread of the epidemic in our communities. There are supporting evidence that men do not access health facilities even when the need arises, perhaps due to stigma associated with this disease or that “Men are expected to be strong” attitudes.
It is often argued that men are unable to discuss the issues of HIV/AIDS although they can easily discuss other issues such as sex amongst themselves. Society expects men to be strong and invincible to ailments such as HIV/AIDS.
Consequently men become victims when confronted by epidemics such as HIV/AIDS. The saddest truth though, is that men are also emotional human beings. They suffer just like anybody else due to devastations caused by HIV/AIDS.
It is therefore important that men should be seen as partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS in our communities. They are expected to take a leading role to protect themselves and their families against the ravages of this epidemic.
A five day training workshop is conducted for peer counselors, men’s organisations, corporate organisations, etc, that are interested in working with their members/employees and especially the men on the street on Domestic Violence, HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse and Life Skills training programmes.
The training runs for a full day starting at 09h00 until 16h00. A training manual is issued on the first day of the training enabling participants to fully participate in all activities. On the fifth day, provided the participants completed the full five day training, a certificate of attendance will be issued. The training will empower participants with the skills of assisting and guiding men that are living in abusive relationships and also assist men who are perpetrating violence in his family home.
Counselling services are available at the Masizakhe Community Development Centre in Guguletu. There are one-on-one sessions where men can talk to other men in a safe and comfortable environment. The counselling sessions start with personal growth on the side of the perpetrator looking at possible contributing factors to the violence such as anger management, unemployment and power struggles within the relationship. We provide a platform for men to open up and reveal their inner emotions. Once the client is emotionally ready, couple counselling can begin to restore the relationship
There are support groups for individuals who would like to share their experiences of Domestic Violence, HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse, thus sustaining each other emotionally. Discussions around issues of Domestic Violence, HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse will be held. Sharing and exploring new ideas and giving coping mechanisms on how to change the mindset of other men. In these support groups men can decide amongst themselves on any skills development that they can embark on and be linked up with the relevant department for possible skills training opportunities.
awareness and motivational talks
There will be ongoing awareness sessions and talks around Domestic Violence, HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse at churches, schools, various groups and organisations at their request. These awareness sessions and talks will be a starting point to encourage men to talk about their personal issues and also make people aware that there are is help available.