The Swedish Ambassador to Zambia, Ambassador Henrik Cederin, applauded the Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT) for transforming its programming to focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) keeping itself relevant and critical to development.
Speaking at the opening of the SAT Annual Partners meeting, Ambassador Cederin noted, that “SAT have managed to develop its programming and move with time.”
“From our view point, SAT remains a professional, sturdy, progressive and innovative organisation in the sphere of SRHR, HIV and gender equality, showing the ambition to constantly improve and further profesionalise its work,” said Ambassador Henrik Cederin.
He described SAT as “one of the Embassy’s long standing partners on HIV and SRHR in the eastern and southern Africa regions,” a cooperation that started as far back as 2006.
He added that “SRHR including HIV are key priority areas for Sweden’s engagement in Global Development. The Swedish Government has a very strong focus on gender equality and that it cannot be achieved without the involvement of men and boys.”
SAT Annual Partners’ meetings bring together all partners in Zambia to reflect on the performance over the past year and to plan activities for the year ahead.
Addressing the partners at the meeting, SAT Executive Director, Jonathan Gunthorp noted that the main objective for the Annual partners’ meeting was to share SAT’s strategy and programming focus of the year.
“The 2016 partners meeting hopes to introduce the SAT Pivot Strategy and to engage partners to exchange views on domestic and regional dynamics that might enable or hinder the delivery of the Pivot Strategy,” said Gunthorp.
The partners meeting deliberated on the SAT’s Pivot Strategy for the period 2016-2021. The strategy does not align itself to the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but focuses on the health and rights of girls, adolescents and young women.
The meeting introduced partners to SAT’s Key Intervention areas – ‘The Big 5 Interventions’ for girls: In-Schools Projects, Gender Based Violence, Comprehensive Sexual Knowledge, Prevention against early marriages and Access to SRHR services.
Partners also took time to learn from each other through sharing their stories on the challenges and success they made in their communities, with the aim to mobilise communities against GBV, ending early and forced marriages or child marriages.