Publication Date
Publication Date: 
March 1, 2009

Produced by the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS), this handbook is designed to be an easy-to-use training handbook to promote child rights and cultural issues in the face of HIV in southern Africa. It is intended for use by trainers at all levels who recognise the need to respect child rights in the community, in the context of their culture, and in relation to HIV and AIDS. The production was guided by a series of community dialogue meetings hosted by SAfAIDS, with support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

This handbook includes methods for upholding positive cultural practices, as well as opportunities to revisit harmful cultural ways. It also contains activities designed to reflect the input and voices of the children who participated in the community dialogues. Each section is supported by semi-fictional characters drawn from various ethnic groups. According to the publishers, these characters are representative of Zimbabwean custodians of culture, as well as contemporary adult and child advocates for children's rights. The central character is a wise grandmother and former school teacher, Gogo, who is a child rights advocate in her community. She works with her two grandchildren and their friends to empower individuals and community members by promoting rights-based responses to HIV and children's needs. Gogo's goal is to encourage positive attitudes and enhance those community beliefs that can promote change in the social environment through community participation. Through this strategy, the publishers hope to encourage positive approaches to sensitive issues within the community, such as child abuse and discrimination against young girls.

The handbook includes the following sections:

  • Section 1 - About the Handbook
  • Section 2 - An Introduction to Children and Their Rights
  • Section 3 - Child Violations in the Context of HIV
  • Section 4 - Championing Rights for Children
  • Section 5 - A Participatory Approach Towards Child Rights
Free to download.


Number of Pages: 



SAfAIDS website on December 14 2009.