Who We Are
Established in 2002, the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) is a regional partnership of non-governmental organisations working together to promote a human rights approach to HIV/AIDS and TB in Southern Africa through capacity building and advocacy. ARASA partners comprise a diverse mix of more and less well-established organisations including networks of people living with HIV (PLHIV), legal aid organisations, women’s organisations, youth organisations and other AIDS service organisations. The basis of the partnership is solidarity and shared responsibility for advancing social justice in the region, with a focus on the realisation of the right to health. Since its inception in 2003, the partnership has remained the only alliance of organisations that have come together to address human rights responses to issues of HIV and TB in Southern Africa (or indeed elsewhere).
ARASA is constituted in the form of a trust and all partner organisations are members of the trust. A board of trustees provides oversight of the organisation and fulfils a governance function. The board of trustees consists of representatives of the following founding partner organisations:
• Zambia AIDS Law Research and Advocacy Network (ZARAN)(Chair);
• Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), (Namibia);
• Section27 (incorporating AIDS Law Project), (South Africa);
• Southern Africa Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS), (Regional);
• Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA); and
• Director of ARASA as an ex officio member.
All of the trustees occupy their positions in their capacity as representatives of their respective organisations. The partnership is supported by staff and consultants working out of Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa as well as the head office in Windhoek, Namibia.
A Southern Africa in which human rights are at the centre of all responses to HIV/AIDS and TB, in which the rights of PLWA are respected and protected and socio-economic rights, the denial of which fuels the epidemic, are respected, protected and fulfilled.
To promote a human rights based and gendered response to HIV/AIDS and TB in Southern Africa through capacity strengthening and advocacy.
ARASA implements its activities under 2 outcomes: (a) strengthened civil society capacity for effective human rights and HIV/AIDS and TB advocacy in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC); and (b) increased mobilisation of civil society advocacy on human rights issues in the context of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in SADC. The work of ARASA is structured in 2 programme areas:
i) Training and Capacity Strengthening:
ARASA strengthens the capacity of its partners and the communities that they serve to promote a human rights-based response to TB, HIV and AIDS in their own countries. The Training and Capacity Strengthening Programme facilitates human rights training at both regional and national levels, assists to strengthen skills and develop training resource materials related to HIV, TB and human rights programming.
ii) Advocacy and Lobbying:
ARASA strengthens and supports partner organisations to promote a human rights based response to tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS through technical assistance to them and the communities that they serve. This programme is aimed at enabling partners and communities to monitor and analyse the efforts of national governments to protect, respect and uphold human rights in the context of national responses to AIDS and TB; and engage in effective advocacy initiatives on rights issues that are identified as relevant at both the national and regional levels.