Friday, 7 June 2013


In a continuous effort to improve lives in sustainable ways through development of programs that are evidence based and grounded in thorough research, SWOP held a three (3) day capacity building exercise for new outreach workers. (24-26 April 2013)
SWOP mobilizes sex workers through trained peer leaders who are themselves identified and chosen by the sex workers with the main purpose of providing them comprehensive service that included both education messages and well as clinical care.
The training held at the Sunrise Hotel Downtown, Nairobi saw eleven (11) outreach workers facilitated by SWOP Prevention Officers Mr. Gibson Wachira, Mr. Kimathi Maingi and Ms. Rodha Wanjiru.
The theme of the three day course was MICROPLANNING. This was aimed at equipping the outreach workers with better man management skills so that they can effectively manage their sites of work. Emphasis was put on the outreach workers ability to know and relate with their peer educators and sex workers on a more individual level.
The participants were taken through the various levels of Micro-planning which include:
·         Planning at the site level
·         Planning at sex workers level
Also core to effective micro-planning was SITE TOOLS, which would guide outreach workers when in the field. Site tools include:
Tools at the site level
a)    Site load mapping
This will guide outreach workers to identify the number of sex workers in their sites and also know the proximity of their sites to others
b)    Site analysis
This will help outreach workers know the physical address of their sites, the type of sex workers and the level of violence experienced in their sites.
Site analysis depends on the type and age of sex workers, clients and the time of activity in    the sites.
Tools at individual level
c)    Contact listing/mapping
Contact listing will enable outreach workers know number of sex workers in their sites, help them in selecting peer leaders and also understanding the network to avoid duplication of sex workers.
d)    Peer plan
This tool is imperative as it will help outreach workers in the process of profiling sex workers (clients, age, and level of violence) and more so help in planning outreach activities
e)    Opportunity gap analysis
Outreach workers would monitor the programme in their sites by knowing number of sex workers, condom distribution, new entrance to clinics, cases of violence, peer leaders recruited,

The training which was the first of its kind would benefit outreach workers in many ways
  • Identify and prioritize their respective sites
  • Identify age groups and operation time of their sites
  • Know how to effectively carry out their work with peer leaders and how to better guide and manage peers
  • Identify level of violence experienced in the sites
  •  Know the needs of sex workers in their sites and also status of condom distribution
  •  Help them in peer selection process

Thursday, 6 June 2013


Peer Educators Training                                                                        
March 15th 2013: 1 pm, seated in a conference room at the Hotel Central Park in downtown Nairobi, Carol was all smiles, the recent election of a new Pope Francis at the Vatican or closer home, having a new President could account for the smile, but the truth; Carol was eager to receive her certificate for the Peer Educators (PE) training.
Carol, 28, is a commercial sex worker in the Nairobi CBD, but there is more to her than just her trade. Together with a number of sex workers from Nairobi area, she and her peers have devoted their time and efforts to do something positive not only in their lives but also that of the societies they hail. This has been made possible by Kenya Aids Control Project (KACP) through its   Sex Workers Outreach Program (SWOP).
Together with 47 other sex workers, Carol attended the five (5) day Peer Educators training programme held at the Hotel Central Park. The training organized by SWOP involved an intensive full course on all issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS and STDs and behavior change. The training was based on a Nation Peer Educators Curriculum developed by NASCOP as a measure to empower sex workers with the necessary skills to work among their peers in the community. This was also geared to equip them with requisite knowledge on the same so that they could effectively help spearhead the spreading of this vital information to their other colleagues.
 “Through SWOP, I have received better information on safer sex practices, HIV Testing and Counseling, care and treatment, condom demonstration and provision, family planning, STI screening and treatment and many more services. Which have made a positive impact in my work.” Carol elaborates on the many services SWOP offers them. Others include TB referral, HTC services at enrollment level; follow up after 3 months and subsequently after every 6months.
The training was supervised by SWOPs Prevention Officers who used PowerPoint presentations, role playing and discussions forums so as to achieve optimum results. Mrs. Grace, a Preventive Officer from SWOP Thika, gave an insight as to the importance of the training, “We hold this kind of training twice a year. The main aim being to better equip the peer educators for the field work and also improve their knowledge on health matters so that they can transmit the right information when in the field.”  She elaborated.
“Congratulations for completing the training….I am happy for you and happy for the society out there as you are all going to play an important role towards the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.”  Attested Mrs. Gloria Gakii, SWOP’s Prevention Manager, during the conclusion of the peer educator’s training.

Signifying Kenyan Government’s recognition of the PE training, present at the occasion was Mr. Patrick Mutua a representative from NASCOP. Carol and her peers were then officially handed certificates amid jovial celebrations from the whole team.
With a piece of cake on one hand and a certificate on the other hand, the happiness Carol and the rest of the Peer Educators felt within was reflected by their broad smiles and excitement. To take upon this positive step, not only for the betterment of their lives but also that of the broader society, Carol and her team remind us of the wisdom in one C.S Lewis words; The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.

SWOP Teambuilding

As the morning sun shone brightly above the clear Nairobi skies, a normal day it seemed, but somewhere along Kiambu road, The Rib Shark to be precise a rather interesting activity was about to go down. The Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) had in place a team building and fun day for the sex workers, Peer Educators and Preventive Officers on the eve of Jamuhuri day.
The event organized by the Kenya Aids Control Project (KACP) was aimed at strengthening the mutual understanding and relationship between Peer Educators and their supervisors from SWOP-the Preventive Officers.
The mood was already set for hours of none stop fun and team building exercises as the peer educators thronged in numbers each spotting a unique but eye catching outfits the day promised to deliver. Kicking off the day was a series of races with particularly the handicap race where a group of four people were tied together got the fun gears shifting.
Then excitement was building up and a passerby would be perplexed at the gleeful and playful nature that was on display by the adults on the field a clear indication that those present were having a good time.
Then came that victorious moment where the peer educators comprehensively overcame the preventive officers in a tug of war tussle prompting a Gor Mahia like Fans celebration. The highlight of the day came down to a hilarious skit on show by the KACP team on condom use and negotiation skills.
According to one of the organizers, Mr. Stephen, the event was geared at providing a platform for relaxation and bonding after a year of intense training and education for the peer educators. “This day is all about relationship cohesion between peer educators and protection officers, a place where they can freely express themselves on any issue concerning the project whether concerns or recommendations.” He elaborated.
SWOP was established to offer comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services to the MARPS in Nairobi Kenya on the background that female sex workers and the men having sex with men (MSMs) constitute most at risk populations (MARPS) in HIV/AIDS acquisition and transmission in Kenya.
Helen Pera, a 29 year old sex worker in Nairobi Riruta area for the past two years gave an insight on SWOP’s impact on her life. “Kuna wakati condom ilikua inapasuka, labda ni kwa sababu sikua nafahamu jinsi ya kuiweka vizuri lakini baada ya kujiunga na SWOP nimepata mafunzo bora ya kujikinga pamoja na wateja wangu.” (There were times when the condom would burst, maybe it’s down to the fact that I didn’t know how to use it, but after joining SWOP I have been trained well on various ways to protect myself and also my clients) she explains.
The services offered in the clinic include information on safer sex practices, HIV Testing and Counseling, care and treatment, condom information, demonstration and provision, family planning, STI screening and treatment and TB referral.
HTC services are offered at enrollment level; follow up after 3 months and subsequently after every 6months. The sex workers can also visit the clinics at any time when unwell.
Commenting on the fun day was Simon a male sex worker who has been one of the pioneers of SWOP, expressed his joy to be involved in the event and more so what SWOP has done in his life. “I have been in SWOP for many years and before we used crude methods like Vaseline but now am well informed. The fact that SWOP clinics offer us free testing and treatment is a plus and we will continue reaching out to other sex workers to join.” He elaborates.
The teams were then treated to a tasteful lunch delicacies at the Rib Shark restaurant, thereafter the teams took to the dance floor and danced the rest of the day away after all they deserved it  and a lesson they inspire the world is :keep on looking to the brighter side of life, keep on running for the goals in life, keep on searching for the treasure of life, keep on moving forward positively.



Prevention services
  • En-roll new female and male sex workers to the clinic system
  •  Ensure smooth mobilization of sex workers
  •  Educate sex workers on health matters
  • To ensure referrals of M.S.M’s are made
  • Ensure smooth distribution of condoms to the sex workers through peer educators
  • Verify data given  by the peer educators and ensure timely submission
  • Ensure outreach workers are supervising the peer educators
  • Ensure  that hot spots are allocated to peer educator and outreach workers

Clinical services
  •  Information on safer sex practices
  •  Condom information, demonstration on use and provision.
  • HIV testing and counseling (PICT)
  •  STI screening and treatment
  •  Risk reduction counseling services
  •  ARV and HIV basic care
  • Family planning information and provision
  • TB screening and referral
  •  PEP and emergency contraceptive provision 
  •   Psychosocial support and referral