The NASCOP in Kenya established two Learning Sites for Sex Workers (SWs) in Nairobi and Mombasa in 2013 with funding support from World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Learning Sites will implement comprehensive HIV prevention program for sex workers and offer hands on learning curriculum.

The Learning Sites are being implemented in partnership with Sex Workers Outreach Programme (SWOP), International Centre for Reproductive Health Kenya (ICRHK), Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme (BHESP) and Kenya Sex Workers Alliance (KESWA). The larger sex work interventions in the sites are being funded by PEPFAR.

What does the LS offer?

The Learning sites aims to enhance the programming in existing interventions in line with national guidelines and are expected to be a model SWs programme.  Through the Learning Sites, NASCOP aims to build capacity of sex work programme implementers and institutions in Kenya by providing a practical field based curriculum focused on building skills and competencies

A comprehensive model programme for sex work interventions

The model programme at the LS is working with existing interventions funded by PEPFAR and implemented by SWOP and ICRH to enhance the sex worker programmes. Based on gap analysis with the implementers the enhancements include strengthening outreach activities by introducing micro-planning processes, development of a system to address issues of violence and other crisis that the sex workers face, improve community mobilization by establishing Drop In Centres  and solidarity events.

This Model Programme will be used to demonstrate how a community empowerment based comprehensive HIV prevention programme can be implemented and  integrated into an existing SWs HIV prevention programme in Nairobi and Mombasa and to document the knowledge gained, and value add, from the experience. This will be a site to field test tools, methods and approaches to be scaled up by NASCOP in other sites.

Hands on capacity building opportunities

The Capacity Building component is being tailored to build skills and competencies of implementers and policy makers working with SWs including the community members.

Site visits to the Learning Site will be arranged for different cadres of implementers from Kenya and other countries in the region where they can observe and gain field level knowledge about the programme components and implementation processes. This will allow them to effectively integrate and apply the knowledge gained into their own programs.  Training for different cadres of staff will be done through a 1-5 days curriculum being offered in the Learning Sites to build capacities on management, outreach, violence prevention and response, clinical practice and services. These are provided using not only class room session but through field visits, shadowing LS staff and mentoring.

Community to Community Learning

The Learning Site will promote community to community learning by developing a cadre of SW community trainers and facilitators and encouraging community learners to visit the site. Community project staff and volunteers especially from sex work community are encouraged to visit the site to undergo training on specific aspects of their roles and responsibilities.