APLHIV has become a beacon for those who intend to take up a cause. However before this could be achieved, APLHIV faced several issues and challenges:
- Fight back against stigma and discrimination that was from within and outside of APLHIV office.
- Accept the challenges and everything else, good or bad, without showing any hard feelings.
- Bring in strong team members including leaders from within and outside of the community who could prove to be an asset for the APLHIV. Strong leadership would be a source of moral and career support for all team members.
- Work hard to develop a team that could stand against all odds, so that APLHIV can become a launching pad for the community. “A team from the Ashes that I got”. – recalled the coordinator.
- Know when to be harsh or friendly but always being caring and loving while dealing with team members.
- Travel and work on networking in various cities at staffs’ own expenses at the time when there was lack of available resources.
- Form a strong team of professionals and gain strong support of a unified board. This took only a couple of weeks given the dedication of the team.
- Approach and contact the community activists and other stakeholders at regular intervals. Efforts were made to take all of them on board.
With strong leadership and right management, APLHIV is now recognized as one of the most important stakeholders in the community at national level, both within the public and private sectors.
“A team from the Ashes that I got”. – recalled the APLHIV project coordinator.
Today APLHIV is successfully implementing 2 projects for the Global Fund, a major project funded by European organizations in addition to many smaller projects. The project activities continued alongside these other activities of raising trust and acceptability for APLHIV. It also provides toll free helpline services on a 24/7 basis.
At present, the engagement of APLHIV at any policy and decision making level is mandatory, it could be the preparation of GARPR or finalization of HIV bill for legislation or selection of an organization for the visits of high level missions. The special envoy of UN’s SG visited the APLHIV.
This all has been made possible with teamwork thanks to all the team members for working toward a common goal to bring APLHIV to this height, and the board members who allow complete freedom to translate project vision and plan to action.
While APLHIV has some so far, it is not the end but the beginning of a journey towards much higher goals. APLHIV fully committed to make the organization more effective and active across the country.
For more info about Pakistan Association of People Living with HIV, visit the homepage here.
Note : Photo provided with courtesy from Pakistan APLHIV.