Kiaran Honderich has been working with grassroots groups of AIDS activists in different African countries to strengthen their capacity to fight HIV. Since 2007 I have been bringing groups of Williams students to East and West Africa to train local activists to film and talk about how video could be useful in their work. We then worked collaboratively to edit videos with and for the activists. The next stage, begun in 2009, has been to train the activist groups to edit by themselves and leave them with copies of an editing program. In 2010 I hope to move further, by training local activist groups to become a resource in their communities, self sufficient in their own ability to make videos and ready to pass those skills on to others around them. The videos are used in many different ways, including advocacy with governments, NGOs and donors, education and sensitization in the community, and fundraising.
In June 2009 I also started a pilot project to research care labor in AIDS-affected households. This is a partnership between Williams in Africa, the Department of Women and Gender Studies at Makerere University in Uganda, and the Global Coalition of Women Against AIDS in Uganda (GCOWAU). Five Williams students paired up with five Makerere students to do Time Use Surveys inside households in a rural area of Uganda. The data they gathered will help the GCOWAU and other activists in their work supporting caregivers and particularly women and vulnerable children in AIDS-affected communities.