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KWAZULU NATAL has initiated the “Break the Cycle, Break the Silence” Campaign, which the Task Force launched with a “Barefoot in Black” March and Rally on National Women’s Day, attended by KZN Intersect members from across the province, the public, and busloads of school children. At the rally a Memorandum was presented to 5 Ministers or their representatives, each of whom spoke at the rally. The Memorandum made specific requests of the Provincial government with regard to the safety of women and the cycle and treatment of HIV. The Campaign is set to go province-wide with local marches presenting Memorandums to local and community bodies and to introduce community programs that will break the silence that shrouds both the specter of Violence Against Women & Girls and that of HIV/AIDS. It seeks to bring people together to destigmatize both and to create environments throughout communities and cultures that encourage community members to tell their truths in safe environments such as Talking Circles, to understand the relationship between violence and transmission, and change the cultural myths that foster both epidemics. “Break the Cycle, Break the Silence” is also a media Campaign designed to use innovative and inexpensive approaches to spreading the word about the relationship between HIV and VAW&G, destigmatizing both. Public testimonies are under consideration.


In 2001, the South African National HIV survey reported our province (KwaZulu Natal) to be the leading province in South Africa with 33.5%.

Most community-based organizations that respond to these epidemics are working in isolation and they often respond on impulse without adequate skills and information needed to implement their projects effectively and efficiently. Efforts that are initiated by the government to mitigate the impact of Gender Based Violence and HIV/AIDS are not communicated directly to the frontline workers.

Project description:

The Intersect Task Team came up with the concept of “BREAK THE CYCLE – BREAK THE SILENCE” Campaign (The Campaign). The rationale behind the campaign was that the task team acknowledged the fact that there is no single intervention that could comprehensively solve the plight of any person who is experiencing any form of Gender based violence and HIV and AIDS. The Campaign was then planned to educate and change the public’s stereotyped way of thinking about GBV and HIV and AIDS. The campaign will reach put to bring more men on board, as they have always been marginlised. The task team launched the campaign on National Women’s Day (9th August 2003) with a “BAREFOOT IN BLACK” March and handing over a memorandum to relevant Government Depts. The proceedings of the march included participants carrying two coffins which represented people dying a physical and an emotional death from GBV an HIV and AIDS. A crowd of more than 1500 people from NGO’s, CBO’s, Government Departments, Churches, Tertiary Institutions, Schools, and the public at large attended the march.

The following government departments were invited:
- Department of Social Development
- Department of Health
- Department of Safety and Security
- E. Thekwini Municipality (Local Council)

To do presentations in regard to the projects their departments are implementing to mitigate the impact GBV, HIV and AIDS and a memorandum was handed over to each department as the Intersect Coalition identified short comings in terms of proper implementation of service delivery.

The march was very successful as it received massive media coverage; it got people talking about hot issues that relates to the two epidemics. However, service providers are currently overloaded with cases. It is for the above reasons that the KZN Intersect Coalition is going to roll out the campaign to other regions (Durban North/South/ Midlands, Port Shepstone, Richards Bay, Zululand, Scottburgh, Newcastle). We will recruit more organizations from rural areas and introduce new community programs that will break the silence that shrouds both the specters of GBV, HIV and AIDS. The Coalition will seek to bring people together to destigmatize and create environments throughout communities and cultures.

The Intersect task team will travel to the different regions to set up and strengthen member organizations to form a strong Coalition.

Goals and Objectives:

To roll out the “BREAK THE CYCLE – BREAK THE SILENCE” Campaign:
Bring all organizations together in their respective regions, orientate them on the Intersect Concept that was adopted at the provincial workshop.
Elect task teams.
Train task team members on GBV, HIV and AIDS.
Support these regional structures in planning their campaigns and in replicating the march.
Review of the march.
Monitor and evaluate– organizational and public impact.
Introduce new community programs that will break the silence that shrouds both the specters of GBV, HIV/AIDS.


The Intersect regional meetings will start on the 30th September 2003 till the end of September 2004. Roll out to begin in October in the following: Port Shepstone, Midlands, Zululand, Newcastle, Durban North, Durban South, and Richards Bay.

Increase the Intersect coalition membership by at least by 10%:
Identify and recruit more organizations that are tackling GBV, HIV and AIDS from rural area.
Currently the Intersect coalition has a membership of 200 organisations and most of these organizations are located in an urban setting.
KZN Intersect Coalition has targeted three regions to extend to their rural setting that is Port Shepstone, Richard Bay and Newcastle.
From each region Intersect proposes to sign at least seven more organizations.
These organizations are to be sought out from the provincial database of the KZN Network on Violence Against Women and AIDS organization.

Expected Results:

Estimated impact on target groups:
Men, Women and children informed about their rights and available services for assistance.
Government Departments to acknowledge the input of NGO’s that is complimenting their initiatives. Provide feedback on the effectiveness and efficiency of their service delivery.
Member organizations (NGO’s, CBO, FBO’s) improved capacity in handling survivors of GBV and people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.

Multiplier effects:

Advocacy skills that will be passed on to more than 200 organizations, so in turn they can lead advocacy campaigns in the areas of operations.
This will in turn contribute to the following:
- Contribute to change of attitudes of communities.
- Achieve support by different government department and the private sector.
- The Coalition will also be responsible for marketing their services.
- Other organizations in different fields can adapt the approach of working as a coalition to strengthen their members and their intervention.

Contact Information:

Address: Cookie Edwards, Coordinator
P.O. Box 62245
Bishopsgate, Durban 4008, KwaZulu Natal
South Africa
Tel: 27-31-304-6928
fax: 27-31-304-6928
mobile: 27-83-637-0203

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