Community Workers Introduction
The sex work programme is peer led with sex workers taking the lead in delivery of HIV prevention programmes to their peers. Sisters is supported by 337 peer educators and microplanners, 15 Peer Navigators and 13 Friendship Bench Buddies (lay mental health counsellors) who are supervised by 32 Outreach Workers and Peer Educator Supervisors.
Peer educators identify sex workers in the community, offer ongoing health education, including condom distribution and demonstration and increase uptake of and retention in clinical services. They act as a bridge between clinic and outreach staff and sex workers, facilitating communication between them and fostering mutual respect. They help organise events and inform local sex workers if there are any changes to the programme.
Microplanners support a cohort of 50 – 70 sex workers within a specific hotspot. Microplanning is a risk-differentiated approach that strengthens peer-led outreach through mapping and validation of hotspots to ensure that the programme is reaching its target population where the need is greatest and is able to respond to changes in the nature and location of sex work.
Peer Navigators are working across borders into Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa supporting uninterrupted access to services for mobile sex workers. They offer risk differentiated support and like microplanners support a cohort of sex workers in their hotpots according to risk profile.
Friendship Bench Buddies
Friendship Bench Buddies are trained lay mental health counsellors. Supported by our partner The Friendship Bench Project, they offer face to face and online problem solving therapy to sex workers.