The film 'Condom commandos' documents one of ACORD's projects in Angola. It joins soldiers from the Angolan army and women from the community beside the barracks discovering how to negotiate safer sex, challenge violence and improve communication in their relationships. The film also demonstrates use of the Stepping Stones methodology to support work on HIV. The documentary was a milestone in HIV and AIDS awareness and education and was awarded a Gold Plaque during the INTERCOM competition of the 2008 Chicago International Film Festival in the US.
ACORD has been working in Angola since 1986. The key aim is to contribute to the reduction of the causes of poverty, social exclusion and vulnerability of the less privileged, the urban poor people, pastoralist communities, internal displaced people and small scale farmers. In response to the complex challenges affecting the most vulnerable communities in Angola ACORD focuses on three key areas:
>> Conflict: the economic and social reintegration of demobilised soldiers in the provinces of Huila, Bié and Cunene. Improvement of livelihood opportunities has been central to this process. Activities have focused on enhancing farming techniques, distributing agricultural inputs and farm oxen to groups of ex-combatants and vulnerable people, as well as promoting peace and reconciliation, conflict management and resolution.
>> HIV and AIDS: focussing on prevention, supporting HIV/AIDS activists, capacity building and HIV/AIDS mainstreaming. ACORD performed training and capacity building for eight groups of soldiers and the respective communitiesin fighting HIV/AIDS, using the methodology of Stepping Stones, which integrates gender and HIV/AIDS. The training has led to dramatic falls in alcoholism, unprotected sex with multiple sexual partners, violence against women and conversely resulted in increased condom use and more respectful behaviour towards women. The participating soldiers reported significant changes in their lives and referred to themselves as HIV/AIDS activists or "guerrilheiros" with a duty to now help others protect themselves against HIV.
>> Capacity Building: ACORD has been supporting the emergence and growth of civil society through capacity building activities targeting local NGOs and government structures in Camacupa and Catabola in Bié, Huila, Namibe and Cunene. A legal profession programme in the provinces of Huila and Namibe has been completed as well as the Educational Information and Communication (IEC) initiative along the border areas of Cunene Province. Overall, there has been a marked positive contribution to the process of administrative decentralisation.
Where we work
ACORD interventions focused mainly in 3 Provinces: Cunene, Bie (Camacupa and Catabola municipalities) and Huila.
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Communities in Angola tell their stories
"As a community leader, the Training of Trainers course has equipped me with valuable tools to help empower other community members to understand, and act upon their circumstances by utilising available resources to stem the spread of HIV and AIDS in Angola" expressed a participant who attended the Training workshop on HIV that was held in Camacupa Municipality in 2008.
"Stepping Stones transformed my personal life. I never imagined HIV and AIDS could be approached this way. I have seen it work, watch the ‘Condom Commandos' film and find out how". Dr. Andre Chimuco, the Army General for Angola's 7th Brigade who was a lead character in ACORD's ‘Condom Commandos' film.
Our partners in Angola
ACORD has influenced and worked with communities and authorities in 5 provinces, 11 municipalities, directly supported 40 institutions and NGOs, and participates actively in 10 networks about Land, Micro-finances, Gender, HIV/AIDS, Institutional Innovation, Local Power and Decentralisation, Fight against Poverty, the Electoral Network, the Council of International NGOs in Angola (CONGA).
Condom commandos (DVD, 2007)
Join soldiers from the Angolan army and women from the community beside the barracks discovering how to negotiate safer sex, challenge violence and improve communication in their relationships.
Joining hands: integrating gender and HIV/AIDS (report, 2006)
Using the 'SteppingStones' methodology to incorporate gender awareness in projects on HIV in Angola, Uganda and Tanzania.
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Cycles of violence: gender relations and armed conflict (book, 2005)
What is the impact of war on gender relations? And can gender relations contribute to armed conflict?
You can also find more resources on ACORD's work in Angola on this website.
Photos and videos of ACORD's work in Angola can be sent upon request. Contact us by e-mail.
How can you support communities in Angola
In Angola since 1986, ACORD has supported the empowerment of civil society and government bodies. ACORD has supported the socio-economic reintegration of 5,300 demobilised ex-combatants as well as accompanying the democratic 2009 election process promoting peace and dialogue, training on human rights, addressing gender and HIV/AIDS issues and citizenship.
Your donation will contribute to improving livelihoods for the most marginalised Angolans through addressing agriculture and land policies. You will help to enhance their knowledge of policy issues and enable them to advocate for improved pro-poor and HIV/AIDS, gender sensitive food sovereignty policies and practices with local and national administrations. Together with the communities ACORD engages in dialogue with decentralised local administrations for encouraging the Government to assume its responsibility in upholding the right to food for Angolans.
Make a donation to ACORD in Angola now!