Building Wealth with Community Resources
The Village Savings and Loan club has inspired each of it's members
to start businesses, and given them hope for the future
Namibia is in an economic slump akin to the Great Depression of the 1930”s, which paralyzed Nations around the world. Unemployment is one in three, and youth unemployment is one in two. This economic decline has been exacerbated by the high cost of interventions in the HIV epidemic, and the recent drought that has decimated the fields and cattle of it's rural population.
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The government has made investments in the economy and job training for its people, but these prudent interventions have not yet born fruit. However, Okapya CAG, with excellent training received from Project Hope, one of our implementing partners on the CAG project, is not waiting for the recession to end, but instead they have been empowered to take their financial future into their own hands through the Village Savings and Loan program.
Watch NBC's Coverage of the Milestone Event
NBC provided excellent coverage of the event. Watch the full story here
Tonata Celebrates a Major Milestone in Ondjungulume Village
Judith Uushona of Tonata dances with the procession of Yambidhidha CAG
to welcome the arrival of dignitaries at the milestone celebration
Tonata recently hosted a celebration for achieving a major milestone in it’s Community Adherence Group project, attended by a high level delegation including the Office of the Governor of Omusati, the Office of the Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Director of Omusati Regional Health Directorate, the Honorable Councilor of Otamanzi Consitutency, and representatives from the Uukwambi Traditional Authority, the Ambassador of the United States for Namibia, and representatives from the United States Agency for International Development. The event was held in Ondjungulume village in Onkani, Omusati region, and was hosted by Yambidhidha Community Adherence Group.
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Tonata in collaboration with Okalongo Health Clinic held a Consultative Meeting with Ombandja Traditional Authority regarding community based HIV medicine distribution
TONATA IN COLLABORATION WITH OKALONGO HEALTH CENTRE ENGAGED OMBANDJA TRADITIONAL AUTHROTIY TO MOBILISE THEIR COMMUNITIES TO MAKE USE OF COMMUNITY BASED HIV MEDICATION DISTRIBUTION SERVICES DELIVERY
Namibia is making great strides in making access to HIV medication a reality. Decentralisation of anti-retroviral (ARVs) drug distribution from health facilities to communities is one of the models of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) service delivery outlined by the Ministry of Health and Social Services. There is a need to raise awareness and mobilise communities to ensure people have access to available ART services according to their needs. Traditional authorities plays an important role in community mobilisation effort. Tonata in collaboration with the MoHSS-Okalongo Health Centre engaged the traditional authority (TA) of Ombandja to discuss the available ARVs drug distribution approaches and how the TA could assist in ensuring that their communities receive the services they deserve.
Chief Walaula of Ombandja Traditional Authority (second from left) with Tonata and MoHSS staff
Tonata PLHIV network is funded by PEPFAR through USAID to scale-up Community Adherence Group (CAG) refill groups approach to ART service delivery in eight health districts of Oshikuku, Engela, Onandjokwe, Omuthiya, Tsumeb, Grootfontein, Nyangana and Andara in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS).
Tonata Oshikuku District in collaboration with Okalongo Health Centre organised a consultation meeting with Ombandja Traditional Authority (OTA) held on 19 July 2019. The purpose of the consultation meeting was to introduce ART Differentiated Services Delivery models stipulated in the National Guidelines on Antiretroviral Therapy (2016) issued by the MoHSS. Particularly, the aim was to sensitise OTA leadership on Community Adherence Group (CAG) model part of Community ART Service Delivery so that they could mobilise Ombandja traditional community to embrace opportunities and benefits of CAG.
The meeting was held with Chief Walaula and his Ombandja Traditional Authority council and all village headmen. The council comprised of Senior Traditional Councillors, Traditional Councillors, and Secretary of the Traditional Authority. In Namibia, especially in the North Central regions such as Omusati Region, traditional authorities, which are the custodians of traditional customs, norms, values, language, culture, and customary laws, remain the centrepiece of community life. The traditional authorities guide and teach on moral and ethical conduct of their subjects. They are responsible for decisions regarding the collective welfare of the traditional community and can have decisive impact on activities taking place in that community, especially if the programs are initiated from outside the local community. Members of OTA council derives their leadership and authorities from the Chief in line with customary laws and relevant national legislations. The Chief is a figure of great reverence and respect in the traditional community.
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Tonata's Groups Grow in Engela District
Tonata team meets with leaders of Emilia Shimweefeleni CAG Leaders to subdivide it into smaller groups.
Tonata is now one year into it's efforts to scale up the Community Adherence Group project, and the needs of the program are evolving. Recently, a Tonata team visited Omutaku Village in Ohangwena Region, where the established support group Emilia Shimweefeleni has been growing rapidly and needs to be subdivided.
Before meeting with the group leadership, the Tonata team also met Mrs. Haihwema, the nurse in charge of Hamukoto Wakapa clinic, who oversees the refills of the support group. During the informal meeting, Tonata staff were able to discuss success and challenges with Mrs. Haihwema, and address issues that she identified.
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