Boresha – Prisoners, Children and Healthcare Workers living with HIV

From 2010-13, Mildmay Kenya and Tanzania carried out ‘Boresha’, a bold multi-country project which targeted key vulnerable populations infected and affected by HIV in Kenya and Tanzania. It was part funded by the European Union.

The groups we worked with were prisoners, HIV positive healthcare workers and children. The aim was to improve access to comprehensive home and community based support for these vulnerable groups.

‘Boresha’ means ‘to make better’ in Swahili, and the project certainly achieved this aim.

For prisoners, support groups were set up which provided Cell Based Care for sick inmates, first aid, counselling, care and support. Crucially these groups also challenged stigma and discrimination in the prison setting, and encouraged testing. The groups extended to include the prison guards, thereby improving prisoner/guard relations and setting an example to the whole prison community. 14,330 prisoners were reached in the three years, compared with a target of 7,000

Mildmay is planning to develop a new programme based on this work in prisons, which was strikingly successful. Also, prisoners are a very under-served section of the population, receiving very little interest or support – despite the fact that prisons are a key source of new HIV infections.

For HIV positive healthcare workers, ten peer support groups were formed providing continuous medical education, public speaking and peer support – motivating and encouraging a group which often suffers from more stigma and discrimination than most.

For children, 150 support groups were formed for Children Affected by HIV+AIDS (CABA). These provided opportunities for children to play, receive counselling and training in life skills.

Read the external end of term evaluation of the Boresha project

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