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Effective civil society

Women with condoms

Avert's 2017-21 strategy sets out four priority responses for us. Response 3 is to support civil society responses that inform and empower. The result of this work is that civil society delivers effective programmes and demonstrates its value.

We believe local knowledge builds a stronger response to HIV and AIDS. Our current partners in sub-Saharan Africa helped over 50,000 people in HIV-affected communities transform their lives last year alone.

Our support for these local grassroots partners in Malawi, Lesotho, Zambia and South Africa helped reach new vulnerable and marginalised groups, and ensured our partners’ work made a clear contribution to overall country strategies on HIV.

Find out more about our impact in Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho and South Africa below.


Umunthu Foundation in Malawi has been working with AVERT to provide HIV counselling and testing, awareness-raising, prevention, and support to people living with HIV since 2010. Each year its reach has grown and it now provides a one-stop-shop of services in three locations (including two government clinics) covering a population of 260,000 people. Find out more about Umunthu’s work.

Umunthu's impact

Our partner’s perspective:

“Since 2010, with the support of Avert, Umunthu Foundation and the communities of Bangwe and Limbe began witnessing visible evidence of tremendous improvements in HIV and AIDS service delivery.

We are particularly proud of an increase in the number of HIV testing clinics from just one clinic before the partnership with Avert to three clinics today – two situated in government public health facilities and one at Umunthu’s headquarters.

Alongside this we have seen an increase in the number of community beneficiaries from about 1,000 in 2009 to 36,898 at the close of 2016-17.

We have been supported to expand our clinic space for over 17,000 enrolled ART patients from one tiny room to a new magnificent ART Clinic with waiting shelter which operates at Limbe Health Centre.  We have also been able to strengthen the skills and training of our organisational staff members.

We enjoy a beneficial, strong and enviable partnership with Avert, which also supports collaborative approaches with the government public health institutions.”

David Odali, Umunthu Foundation



Phelisanang Bophelong (PB) in Lesotho is working with AVERT to improve awareness of HIV among young people locally and among their parents. The project also supports young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community members and young people in prison.

Lesotho impact


Our partner’s perspective:


“Since partnering with AVERT in 2015, PB has improved access to friendly HIV services to young people (15-24), LGBT people and young people in prisons (18-24) – getting sexual health information to over 21,000 young people, and supporting over 6,000 young people to access HIV testing services.

The ‘father and son’/’mother and daughter’ camps we’ve organized have engaged parents in discussions about sexual health with their children, often for the first time.

We’ve also seen remarkable results at schools that we have partnered with through our youth groups. One concrete example is a reduction in teen pregnancies in one school from 14 in 2014 to none in 2015.

We’re proud to have helped improve the local environment for LGBT people to access HIV services. Through this work we’ve started to see a slight shift in the way they are being treated.

Young people in the local prison were previously receiving very little information about HIV and irregular access to testing. We are happy that through our partnership with Avert this has changed and nearly all have tested for HIV.”

Lehlohonolo Mohasoa, PB



Bwafwano Integrated Services Organisation (BISO) in Zambia is working with us to reach young people, giving them the life skills and HIV awareness they need to live healthily. The project is also working with community leaders to challenge harmful social and cultural beliefs.

Zambia impact

Our partner’s perspective:

"In late 2015, Bwafwano Integrated Services Organization (BISO) entered into a transitional partnership with AVERT, to oversee the completion and close-out of the Comic Relief-supported UMWEO Project. However, what started as a transitional partnership has evolved into a strong and stable partnership, which has enabled BISO to expand the scope of our community interventions to reach a target group that has been mostly neglected - adolescents.

Through our partnership with AVERT, BISO has managed to increase access to HIV counselling and testing especially among adolescents and young people. In the first nine months of partnership BISO managed to screen, counsel and test 4,368 people in five sites of Mkushi District.

And since April, BISO has developed and implemented a project that is specifically targeting adolescents.

We are not only providing the traditional HIV prevention messages that are around Abstinence, Being Faithful, and Consistent use of Condoms (ABC) but also integrating adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights education, including supporting young people and adolescents with life skills.

We greatly value both the technical and financial support AVERT has given supporting the growth of the organization and establishing an all-encompassing HIV prevention programme that targets young people.

We salute our relationship! It is the true meaning of partnership where one is not seen as of lesser importance but a partnership where we are both working towards a common goal – that of empowering communities with HIV information for better health outcomes."

Isaac Phiri, BISO


South Africa

Sisonke in South Africa has been building a network of empowered elderly women who care for their grandchildren who are orphaned by AIDS across 20 rural communities since 2005.

South Africa impact

Photo credit: ©Gemma Taylor. Images used on this site are for illustrative purposes only. They do not imply any health status or behaviour on the part of the people in the photo.

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Last updated:
09 July 2018