Our priorities: HIV/Aids
'Tavern talk changes behaviour'
Over the last year, I have worked to develop the SAB (Pty) Ltd Tavern Intervention Programme (TIP) which is run in partnership with Men for Development in South Africa (MEDSA) and SABCOHA (South African Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS) along with funding from The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The programme is based in local taverns and offers men a six week, life-skills course which is aimed at driving and inspiring men towards behavioural change. At each session, the participants (who are over the age of 18) are taken through structured modules covering Responsible Alcohol Consumption, HIV/Aids, Gender-based Violence and Children's Rights and Parental Responsibilities. We also urge the men to openly discuss community pressures and other social issues that may lead to unacceptable attitudes, behaviours and practices.
In addition, a Men's Support Group (MSG) is formed by the men and meets once a month. Subject matter experts/specialists are invited to come and address the men on various topics and themes such as substance abuse/dependency, Men's Health, HIV/Aids, dysfunctional families and responsible parenting. Here they are able to discuss and share problems or be referred to social workers for further intervention. Behavioural changes in the men are tracked through the Men's Support Groups.
We have partnered with a number of community-based organisations and leaders to ensure the success of TIP and to help identify those men who require intervention. These include community-based organisations such as the police, tavern owners/Liquor Traders Associations, Traditional Leaders, Ward Councillors, Community Policing Forum, Community Development Workers, Community Patrol Units and other influential community leaders. Police databases assist in identifying offenders and social workers may also make referrals to the programme.
SAB's and The Global Fund's investment in the TIP will initially help to target approximately 4,000 men; 800 per year in nine provinces over a period of five years.
SAB (Pty) Ltd is also a strategic partner in Project Promote which is part of The Global Fund's co-investment in the TIP programme. This project uses SAB (Pty) Ltd's infrastructure, namely depots and truck drivers delivering stock to outlets, to deliver condoms to taverns. Since the start of the project 18 months ago, just under 8.5 million condoms have been delivered to 4,600 taverns across South Africa. It is estimated that this will have helped avert 17,000 new infections*.
* John Stover, 2004
Sylvester Ndaba – Corporate Social Investment Specilalist, SAB (Pty) Ltd
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