The Alliance’s Linking Organisation in Ethiopia, the Organization for Support Services for AIDS (OSSA), is a humanitarian organisation founded to improve the lives of people and communities affected by HIV and AIDS.
Adult HIV prevalence in Ethiopia is estimated to be between 1.4% and 2.8%, meaning the country has a generalised epidemic.
OSSA became a Linking Organisation in 2011. OSSA was created through the collaboration of three religious institutions in Ethiopia: the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, and the Islamic Council.
This pioneering organization established community-based care and support for orphans affected by HIV and AIDS. OSSA's objectives are to provide individual and family counselling for people living with HIV/AIDS; to provide care and support for families affected by HIV, and to build and support community-based efforts to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
WHAT WE DO
Supporting community based organisations
OSSA provides technical, organisational and financial support to community based organisations so they can reach people living with HIV, people at risk of HIV and their families through a comprehensive packages of services.
OSSA has trained 700 pastoral leaders in community prevention and care and support and helped to establish and train 600 youth-based Anti AIDS clubs with over 48,000 members.
It has four free telephone hotlines which provide HIV prevention information, and information on accessing counselling, testing and care and support. It strives to complement the available medical services for people living with HIV and STIs to minimize the illnesses associated with HIV, and promote positive attitudes towards people with AIDS and their families.
OSSA is a local implementing partner of Link Up (2013-16), a five country programme which aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people who are affected by HIV. The programme draws on the experiences of a consortium of organisations, and the existing strengths of the implementing partners. By ‘linking up’ we will make a significant contribution to the integration of sexual reproductive health and rights interventions.
Link Up will work to ensure that SRHR is integrated into existing HIV services for young men and women and vice-versa. The programme will work with youth as an entry point to reach those most in need. You can read more about Link Up here.
OSSA is currently working on expanding its HIV prevention work with sex workers.