A women’s training ended with 42 000 condoms distributed, TAC Mopani organised

TAC Limpopo Deputy Chairperson, Annah Maluleke with boxes of condoms

On Friday 26 August 2011, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) Mopani Community Health Advocacy department organised a public campaign where branch representatives from all TAC branches in Limpopo were invited. This was a closing activity of the four day training for women in TAC Limpopo which was held from 22 to 25 August 2011. The campaign was held at Giyani Multi-Purpose Centre and the theme for the day was “We turn Victims into survivors” promoting a halt in relationship-related violence and abuses.

As this campaign organised by women in TAC, we did not left the men out, we invited men from all TAC Limpopo branches to be part of the campaign. We believe that we need to work with them in fighting against gender-based violence in our communities.

ProGroup Foundation facilitated a participatory session under the topic “We turn victims into survivors”. This was to demystify the elements of abuse within a family set-up. An interesting debate was sparked when the facilitator asked “Does domestic violence only exist between a husband and a wife in a family set-up?”. A lot of people responded with passion, enthusiasm and respect for one another as participants. “If brothers are fighting in one household that is domestic violence, if in-laws are fighting, that is domestic violence” The facilitator said.

Later during the day, participants embarked on information and condom distribution campaign in Giyani Town. A total of 42 000 male condoms and 1 300 female condoms were distributed at the taxi ranks and market stalls around town. During the material distribution we have noted the following:

TAC and ProGroup members caring a box of condoms at Giyani Kremetat clinic

  • People are still shy to take condoms in public, some people refused to take condoms when we handed them.
  • Elder people felt that it was disrespectful to give them condoms. “What am I going to do with this?” One old lady asked in a market stall. “This can be your start point when you are talking to your children about safe sex” Solly Milambo, TAC Limpopo Chairperson said. Despite his response, the old lady insisted that, children of these days are not controllable and they don’t listen to their parents. But at the end she took the condoms, she just took them in pressure because other women sitting next to her stall accepted them without hesitation. We can change people’s perspective bit-by-bit.

 

Earlier during the week, in the workshop, the following were identified as challenges facing women on daily basis:

 

Health-related changes facing women on day-to-day basis

Lack of information about cervical cancer and if one is informed about pap smear service and she decides to go for pap smear in the public clinics, she runs a risk of being “The person who is trained on conducting pap smear is not available today”. Results for the pap smear test are either received late or not received at all by the patients.

 

Resolutions taken during the workshop

 

Women who participated in the training resolved the following:

To educate more women about pap smear, be it at churches, community gatherings and in health facilities.

Mobilise more women to go for Pap smear services.

TAC branches should engage community members in addressing the challenges as they are identified at health facilities.

Compiled by Shine Mabuza, TAC Mopani, Community Health Advocate based at Phalaborwa

and Jennifer Milambo, TAC Mopani, Community Health Advocacy Coordinator

Edited by Adam Malapa, TAC Mopani Communications Officer

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