A STRONGER POSITION: MOROCCO
Association Marocaine de Solidarité et de Développement (AMSED) in Morocco works to prevent HIV and to increase services that meet the needs of most-at-risk populations. Through the accreditation process AMSED strengthened several areas, including its financial capacity. This has helped it scale up HIV prevention work under its Global Fund activities, and expand its onward granting mechanisms. AMSED now provides grants to 102 community-based organisations, compared to 75 in 2012 when it was first accredited.
AMSED's activities reach key populations including men who have sex with men, sex workers, mobile and migrant populations, manual workers, single mothers, and young people. AMSED’s partners train and work with peer educators from within key populations.
AMSED shares its expertise through the technical support it provides to 200 grassroots organisations. It builds their skills to report to donors and strengthens their community programmes.
Through the Alliance’s Middle East and North Africa programme AMSED’s partners build the capacity of groups of men who have sex with men to carry out peer education and provide HIV prevention services. Same sex activity is criminalized in Morocco and convictions can result in up to three years imprisonment. Community participation, using ideas like the peer leader approach, is key to engaging marginalised groups. When people’s identities are criminalised it takes a huge amount of trust for them to access services.
Jamel, 21, is a gay peer outreach worker. He initially came in contact with OPALS, one of the community-based organisations supported by AMSED, as a client. Prior to that he had struggled to accept his sexuality.
“In the past I was so concerned I couldn’t sleep. I suffered a lot from stigma,” he explains. “Now I am supported by the NGO. I feel that I have dignity and I have the right to live as I wish. After the training I wanted to put everything into practice and share the information... I have a great responsibility and commitment to my peers.”
AMSED’s work, along with other organisations, has increased the visibility of issues related to men who have sex with men and this has led to the recent success of the Moroccan Ministry of Health including a reference to this group in its 2012-16 national AIDS plan.
This case study is an example of how we create a learning Alliance, which is response 4 of our 2010-12 strategy, HIV and Healthy Communities. Find out more about our impact in our 2012 Annual Review: Ambition and Acceleration.