Beyond Victims and Villains (BVV)
in Namibia

Visit the Beyond Victims and Villains page for a general description of the BVV intervention.

In Namibia 14 sites have received the BVV intervention: 7 are urban and 7 are rural. We undertook a first round of BVV groups in communities in 2009, facilitated by a visiting team trained centrally; in 2010 we trained community BVV facilitators to continue the BVV intervention, with supervision and support from a small core team of coordinators.

We introduced BVV in all communities through the regional government. We sent a letter to each relevant governor and the governor’s office distributed this letter to the regional and constituency councillors. The constituency councillors informed communities about the BVV intervention through announcements on local radio and at community meetings. Community leaders were active: they held meetings to introduce the intervention and the CIET teams and to encourage community members to participate.

BVV participants included all ages from 12 years upwards and both men and women. Many adult groups were mixed sex but for youth groups were single sex. We ran groups for school-going youth: in some communities this was an after school activity (part of the AIDS club activities); in some schools the principals allowed the students to join in BVV discussions after school hours and at weekends.

Training of community BVV facilitators in Namibia

We recruited community BVV facilitators from previous BVV groups; some were nominated by community leaders or District AIDS committees. Their training usually ran over about three days. The trained community facilitators recruited people to attend BVV sessions from churches, sports groups, schools, and clubs and by word of mouth. It was easier for participants in urban areas to attend the BVV sessions than for those in rural areas, who faced challenges with transport. CIET coordinators tried to attend the groups for each of the first few BVV episodes (about one episode per week); then they visited monthly and made regular contact by telephone to check progress and offer support. The community facilitators are unpaid volunteers; the project provided materials for the BVV sessions and supported communication and travel costs. In one case, we provided a bicycle for an effective BVV facilitator who was covering long distances on foot. Some of the facilitators reported important benefits to themselves from conducting the BVV groups.