Our International Work
AAF is determined to use our wide knowledge-base and experiences to expand our work internationally in order to support vulnerable people to fulfil their potential on a global scale.
AAF jointly organised a sexual health stakeholder event with Kisumu County Government in March 2019 to explore opportunities for improving sexual health and reproductive health services for young women and girls.
THE GLOBAL CONTEXT AND LOCAL CHALLENGES TO HEALTH
There is increasing global recognition that health issues are interconnected. Health challenges are no longer confined to a particular geographic boundary because of increased migration and global travel. At AAF, we believe that health issues that face communities in many parts of Africa requires the merging of Global thinking into local action.
At AAF, we have done extensive research and work with various partners and communities in the UK, across Europe, and in Africa. In the process, we have learnt that:
The Diaspora has a role to play in the delivery of local health initiatives and strategies in their countries of origin. This partly because a huge percentage of Diaspora remittances back to their home countries cover health costs thus reducing the amount of money that could be used for investments, education, and other social safety nets. Some of them have developed skills and competencies that can be transferrable to their home countries. AAF is keen to create spaces and opportunities where the Diaspora community can do more.
That health care intervention which targets women and girls provides a positive impact to the livelihood of the family unit and children. In the long-term, this mitigates incidences of acute care and reduces pressure on hospitals and resources. In consistency with SDGs 3 and 5, we are dedicated to empowering women and girls and ensuring they have better health outcomes.
Health interventions targeted at women and girls should take into consideration their sexual and reproductive health and universal rights.
The success of universal health coverage as championed by the devolved Governments in Kenya (Kisumu being a champion), should draw on the engagement and support of the local community and the wider world.
Stories and case studies of sexual and reproductive health in communities in Africa should be shared globally, and vice versa, to provide an insight into the human face of modern health issues. This will provide an impetus for global policy formulation and up-to-date interventions. At AAF, we believe that the challenges will inform action and the successes will help to consolidate institutional learning. We are keen to create global platform where humanity can share, engage, dialogue, and act.
We are therefore beginning a journey to work with County Governments in Kenya to open up new frontiers for local interventions which take into consideration the local needs, policies, public opinions, and perceptions of the global community.
HIV prevalence in Ghana reaches 1.6% of the population – this may not sound a lot, but when considered in comparison with the fact that only 0.2% of the UK’s population is infected with HIV, we can appreciate the great need to ensure Ghana’s prevention, diagnostic and treatment strategy remains robust.
AAF is working on a pilot initiative with ActionPlus Foundation to develop an effective model for creating HIV and STI awareness, encouraging testing and increasing treatment adherence in schools and colleges in Ghana that we anticipate can be expanded across the country.
Our programme involves engaging community leaders, intensifying community outreach rapid HIV and STI testing, campaigning to reduce stigma and discrimination and promoting the rights of women in Ghana.
Female genital mutilation is practiced in nearly all of Sierra Leone’s ethnic groups; where across the country around 90% of girls and women have endured FGM. Undergoing FGM is viewed a rite of passage into womanhood and is deeply ingrained in Sierra Leone’s social, traditional and political culture; and those who speak out against the practice are subjected to threats and violent attacks.
AAF is currently undertaking a community consultation with 3 Sierra Leone-based organisations on a project that aims to safeguard the welfare of girls in Sierra Leone through bringing an end to FGM.
The plight of girls and women in Uganda remains fragile: more than half of all women will experience intimate partner violence; in the last ten years over 6000 girls as young as 13 have been subjected to sexual exploitation; and at least 4% of women will die during pregnancy, labour or post-partum.
There are a number of reasons for the numerous human rights abuses enacted against girls and women in Uganda; and AAF believe that if girls can access effective secondary and tertiary education – which in Uganda is considerably less of a priority for girls than for boys – they will be empowered with the building blocks to fulfil their socio-economic potential and consequently less vulnerable to exploitation.
AAF is presently working with local partners to develop a programme that will increase girls’ access to education in Uganda and reduce violations of their human rights in some of the most marginalised and resource limited parts of the country.