– CONGO –
THE PLUS COALITION SUPPORTS THE ASSOCIATION ACS/AMO-CONGO
February 25th, 2011
ACS/AMO Congo is one of the largest community organizations fighting HIV/AIDS in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It offers a full-spectrum care program: prevention, testing, treatment, and psychosocial care.
More than medical care, a network of social support
From the beginning of the association, its care centres have been created to provide a positive environment for the patients. In addition to the medical aspect, they offer patients the chance to feel alive and reclaim their dignity by offering a wide range of activities.
In particular, people living with HIV/AIDS meet every month for a discussion and support group. New participants are introduced to long-time members and share experiences.
Each year, the group has two excursions to spend the day in nature next to the river, enjoying a picnic and a party. The group fosters a true feeling of solidarity: participants call one another regularly and support and visit one another.
The association has also set up a cultural centre, including a training centre for orphans, a cybercafé run by the young people trained there, an office automation centre, and a library.
The Activités Génératrices de Revenu (AGR) program, an opportunity to earn financial independence
ACS/AMO Congo is also involved in the psychosocial response to the epidemic, through the AGR (revenue-generating activities) program, which has so far helped nearly 2,000 users to attain financial independence.
People taking part in the AGR program receive training in management techniques and then draft a detailed project. Many of those using the program are widows and widowers, older siblings caring for younger ones, and foster families caring for orphans.
The association purchases the materials the students need to set up their business. The progress of the businesses’ activities is then monitored month-to-month by a team of volunteers.
The sewing school provides training for young orphan girls, following which they are given a sewing machine and are better able to care for their brothers and sisters.