Community Case Workers: A Critical Source of HIV-related Information for Communities
My name is Anjo Francisco and I volunteer at ANDA as a lead case manager for the FCC project in Mozambique. I directly support forty beneficiaries in the 7 de Abril neighborhood, while also monitoring and supervising the activities of five other case care workers. In my community, I have seen people dying over the years, not because of the absence of HIV care and treatment services, but simply due to the lack of information and awareness of these services. I was motivated to become a case care worker in order to close the gap of information and access.
As a CCW, I face many challenges. I need to have a high level of knowledge about HIV/AIDS, so I rely on the information that I learn at the different trainings, supervision visits from ANDA staff, and written resources that are critical to my work. With this knowledge and support from ANDA, I am well-prepared to answer families’ questions and help them solve their problems, and motivated to continue my work.
In spite of the many challenges related to my work, it is very gratifying because when I pass through the neighborhood, I receive several compliments and the families treat me with great respect.
During home visits and community meetings, I work with many community members who have low literacy levels and strong religious and cultural beliefs. It requires lots of patience and energy to raise awareness of sexual and reproductive health and rights, so I work hard to provide accurate and consistent messaging on the prevention, care, and treatment of HIV/AIDS, as well as gender-based violence, children’s rights, hygiene, other key health topics, drug and alcohol abuse, dangers of early marriage, and family planning. Each month, I refer more than fifteen children and caregivers for HIV and other related services at health facilities and relevant partner organizations.
Community volunteers are trained by Força à Comunidade e Crianças (Community and Child Strengthening) (FCC) project to play an integral role in linking beneficiaries with services to meet their needs. FCC’s impact would not be possible without the help of community volunteers.