South India AIDS Action Programme(SIAAPINDIA)

SIAAPINDIA – Efficiency Empathy Ethics


About South India AIDS Action Programme (SIAAPINDIA)

SIAAPINDIA is a not-for-profit agency, established in 1990 to promote rights-based sexual and reproductive health (SRHR), including prevention and care of STI & HIV/AIDS. Initially, we worked mainly among severely disempowered and marginalized communities including women sex workers, transgenders, visually challenged people, and people infected and affected by HIV. Since 2008, we have expanded into rural communities to promote agency building among adolescents and young people, especially women, in order to empower them to make safe, healthy, and productive life choices.

Capacity Building – Our Track Record

Capacity building of individuals, communities and institutions is our fundamental strategy to foster empowerment. In the last 25 years, SIAAPINDIA has built capacities of over one million people including community members, civil society organizations, village, district, and state administrators, lawyers, healthcare professionals, and policy makers in India and abroad in sexuality, gender, human rights, HIV/AIDS, counselling, supportive supervision, leadership development, and employability skill building.

Our Approach

The primary component of our capacity building programs is promoting the agency of our trainees. Agency has been defined as “the socio-culturally mediated capacity to act” (Ahearn 2001). In our experience, processes of agency building inevitably result in people identifying local solutions that draw upon existing strengths and resources and promote sustainability – an aspect often overlooked by more traditional information and service based approaches. Thus, our programs combine cognitive and experiential methods, and participants learn through knowledge sharing, role playing, reflection, exploration and discussion.

Our real strength lies in the quality of relationships we build with our trainees. Our trainers combine professionalism with genuine warmth and unconditional positive regard, and serve as role models for participants who strive to bring these qualities into their own practice.

Specific trainings we offer include the following:

1.       Communication and Interpersonal relationships

2.       Basic Counselling Training

3.       Advanced Counselling Training

4.       Supervision Training

5.       Training of Trainers

6.       Sexuality and Gender

7.       Sexual and Reproductive Health

8.       Confidence Building and Leadership

9.       Entry Level Employability Skill

10.   Leadership Training         

Some Examples

        i.            Training of Trainers (ToT) to develop a cadre of master trainers from within and outside TG communities to build capacities of community members for sustainable HIV prevention and care interventions at State and National Levels, for VHS-Diva Project.

      ii.            Communication and Interpersonal relationship building for the Community Professionals under the Ma.Ka.Mai Project of Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of Tamil Nadu.

    iii.            ToT on Adolescent Mental Health Support for Counsellors working in District Child Protection Units (DCPU), under the Directorate of Social Defence, Govt. Of Tamil Nadu.

     iv.            Leadership, counselling and employability skills training for young women in Kadapa District of Andhra Pradesh for Mana Bidda Project.

       v.            Capacity building of law enforcement personnel including police and lawyers on human rights responses to HIV and AIDS for women in sex work and Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) including transgender communities

     vi.            Capacity building for national trainers from MSM and TG communities, under the ‘Pehchan project’ for Global Fund, on counseling, trauma and violence and CBO organizational development.

   vii.            Capacity building on supervisory skills for senior management staff from Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society (KSAPS), AIDS Prevention And Control (APAC) project, Family Health International (FHI), India-Canada Collaborative HIV/AIDS Project (ICHAP), National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) and Belgaum Integrated Rural Development Society (BIRDS).

 viii.            Capacity building for doctors and counselors in the PPTCT program in Kyrgyzstan in partnership with UNICEF.

     ix.            Capacity building for Centers of Excellence (CoE), for counseling and testing (model VCTs) in Manipur, Mumbai and Chennai in partnership with the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and World Health Organization (WHO).

       x.            Hosted the ‘Global Learning Festival’ and facilitated four days learning process for 175 delegates from 19 countries on Community Life Competence Process’’ (CLCP) in partnership with The Constellation, Belgium.

Some of our partners:

o   National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO)

o   National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

o   National Commission for Women (NCW)

o   Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI

o   State AIDS Control Societies (TN, AP, Karnataka, Bihar, UP, Maharashtra)

o   Ministry of Rural Development, Govt of TN

Donor organisations

o   Ford Foundation


o   European Commission


o   World Health Organization

o   Global Fund

 Leading NGO/Institutions

o   Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)

o   National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS)

o   Sarvojana Coalition (Humsafar Trust, Samraksha, Sangama, WINS & SIAAPINDIA)

o   AIDS Prevention And Control (APAC) project,

o   Family Health International (FHI),

Feedback from few of our trainees:

“Before employability training, I had completed only Higher secondary level but now I have completed degree and am pursuing CA”

 — Participant in entry level employability skills building training


“Trainers took time to establish rapport with us before starting the training, and created a space for exhibiting our innate talents and building a cohesive group/team. This was a new experience” — Participant in Communication and Interpersonal Communication Training

“I realize that as a counsellor, my role is not to advice, finish the session quickly, and make my report…I have to listen, empathize, and demonstrate warmth and trust towards the child. Otherwise I will not be able to help” — Participant in TOT on Basic Counselling Principles and Skills Training

“I understood that in order to support someone, we must first listen to them. Only when we listen to them attentively, they will share about their problems. As a counsellor, I learnt that my responsibility is to facilitate the client to make decisions by discussing about options but strictly not to give solution”. — Participant in Basic Counselling Training

“I had completed VIII std when I attended the employability training. I had very low self worth and I did not have hope for employment. But after the training, I gained courage to join employment based on my strengths and joined the balwadi as a cook. Now I earn respect from my family when I started earning”. — Participant in Entry Level employability Training

“I was very uncomfortable with my gender and after attending the ‘Sexuality and Gender’ training, I realized why….. Now I am at peace with myself. Although I wish to continue in the same gender, this training gave me confidence to think and decide what is good for me…” — Participant in Sexuality and Gender Training