RACOBAO integrates psychosocial support and counselling into the project. Targeted families including PLHIV and CHH especially young adolescent girls are given counselling on a variety of issues, including disclosing their HIV status, adhering to treatment and behaviour change to promote healthy lifestyles. The aim is that new behaviours will be learned and supported through counselling to result in improved well-being and quality of life for clients and their family members. Psychosocial support empowers clients with self-management skills to enable them and their families to take responsibility of their own care and continue to live fulfilling lives.
Specifically, adherence counselling is used to help to teach clients how to take antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) correctly and consistently and to minimize side effects. Similarly, households receive counselling on maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation, and engaging in income generation to be able to meet household basic requirements.
Particularly targeted for counselling are the children especially the girls. Due to chronic poverty among the targeted households, children reaching teenage are either forced to seek work elsewhere or abandon their families. Many of the girls get pregnant or marry early. Such girls are targeted as they approach adolescence with counselling and support so that they may perhaps avoid early motherhood/marriage and/or HIV.
RACOBAO uses volunteer community counsellors to provide the much needed psychosocial support. RACOBAO has worked with community volunteers since the early 2000’s. They live in the communities and visit the vulnerable families to counsel them on ART, sanitation practices, and advocate on their behalf when they can. Some volunteers have even provided food and school fees, and even plots of land.