About Us

The Disability, HIV and AIDS Trust (DHAT) is a not-for-profit regional organization promoting HIV and AIDS responses that address needs and empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, through building and strengthening capacity of Disabled Peoples' Organizations (DPOs) in Southern Africa.

This is in fulfillment of DHAT's mission which states: To promote and facilitate comprehensive rights-based disability and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, Cervical cancer and Tuberculosis awareness, HIV and AIDS interventions responding to the needs of Persons with Disabilities in Southern Africa, through appropriate support to Disabled Peoples' Organizations and other stakeholders and its motto: Creating an inclusive society.

DHAT was founded by Persons with Disabilities who have a strong foundation and experience of working with DPOs, supporting persons with disabilities (PWDs) to develop capacity to design and implement supportive programmes at grassroots level. Although DHAT was formed by Persons with Disabilities, it is a network and not a membership organization.

The Secretariat is based in Harare, Zimbabwe and it is governed by a Board of Trustees drawn from countries within the Southern African region. The regional secretariat hosts the Zimbabwe country office. DHAT has partnered with umbrella organizations of DPOs in the respective countries in order to fulfill its mission. The formalization of partnership in the respective countries with local AIDS Service Organization has been initiated. In countries where offices are not functional, DHAT has formed strategic partnerships with the local Persons with Disabilities’ Organizations.

The DHAT vision - “A society free from HIV and AIDS, guaranteeing full inclusion of Persons with Disabilities cannot be achieved alone without the participation of other Organizations. DHAT has uniquely positioned itself in advocating for and responding to the needs of the Persons with Disabilities through partnerships.

DHAT has developed a strategic partnership with the Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT), Bristol- Myers Squibb Foundation (BMS) , Progressio and American Embassy in Zimbabwe in scaling up the capacity of DPOs response to disability rights, cervical cancer, tuberculosis, sexual reproductive health rights, HIV and AIDS needs. A number of local DPOs from some of the countries in the region have benefited from the partnerships through capacity building training, material and documentary production and lesson sharing workshops.

Other regional organizations collaborating with DHAT in the region are, the Southern African AIDS Network (SAT), Regional AIDS Non-Governmental Organizations (RAANGO), and Africa Network of Religious Leaders Living with AIDS (ANERELA+). DHAT also collaborates with the Southern African Chapter of African Decade on Disability in implementing the African Campaign on Disability and HIV and AIDS under the Kampala Declaration. DHAT also collaborates with the Health, Economics and HIV AND AIDS Research Division of the University of KwaZulu Natal - South Africa- on research. Similarly DHAT has partnered with National umbrella bodies of DPOs in the respective countries.

DHAT practices accountability and transparency, Anti-stigma and anti-discrimination, commitment to good governance, responsiveness to needs of Persons with Disabilities, Participatory democracy and people-centered developmental approaches as some of the principal values of the organization.


The following are the broad aims of DHAT:

· To mobilize Persons with Disabilities and their organizations to increase their participation in the response to disability rights, cervical cancer, sexual reproductive health rights, TB, HIV and AIDS.

· To promote inclusion and participation (at all levels) of Persons with Disabilities living with, and affected by cervical cancer, TB, HIV and AIDS in all aspects of prevention, treatment, care and support interventions, as well as in related supportive research.

· To ensure that Disabled Persons organizations, particularly those with limited resources and within affected communities, are strengthened in their work to prevent HIV infection, provide treatment, care and support for Persons with Disabilities living with and affected by cervical cancer, TB, HIV and AIDS.

· To promote human rights, including rights of Persons with Disabilities, in the development and implementation of policies and programmes responding to disability rights, cervical cancer, sexual reproductive health rights, TB, HIV and AIDS.

· To articulate and advocate for the needs and concerns of Persons with Disabilities and their organizations, including the need to empower Persons with Disabilities to attain high levels of participation in all aspects of society.

· To build leadership capacity of Persons with Disabilities by providing technical support to Persons with Disabilities organizations (DPOs) in areas of organizational development, strategic planning, project design and management, monitoring, evaluation, training, resource mobilization, workshop facilitation and conflict resolution.



DHAT works directly with DPOs which in turn facilitates and provide service delivery to Persons with Disabilities at regional, national and community levels. At implementation level, the organization collaborates with and provides capacity development support to DPOs, ASOs and CBRC in order to strengthen their organizational and programming i capacities.

The DPOs, ASOs and CBRCs in turn provide service delivery and facilitate empowerment to Persons with Disabilities at community and national levels. DHAT is supported by and collaborates with strategic partners. These strategic partners include national, regional and international intermediary organizations, inter-governmental agencies and groupings, government agencies, among others. These strategic partners support and collaborate with DHAT through various ways, including resource provision, participation in national, regional and international forums through which DHAT is able to take part in broad-based learning and sharing; as well as carry out advocacy and lobbying for disability-friendly and empowering interventions and support.

The DHAT Governing Board

The Disability, HIV and AIDS Trust board is comprised of eight members selected from the region. In order to provide a link with the secretariat the executive director is also a member of the board. The board members represent various regional organizations. The current membership has members drawn from Botswana, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The board membership is comprised of persons with disabilities and those without disabilities from specific professional backgrounds and work environments. For example, the board has members with skills and backgrounds in education, finance, law, programming and CBO support, policy influence and project development as well as public administration.

A mixture of skills and professional backgrounds of the board is an attractive tool to provide for the effective way to administer the affairs of the organization. The board, therefore, is adequately prepared in terms of expertise and competence to manage the Disability, HIV and AIDS Trust in line with the objectives. The synergy of skills and experiences from both disabled and non disabled arms the board with the necessary tools required to implement the principle function of advocating for inclusive policy formulation, programme implementation and interventions in the realm of Sexual reproductive health, cervical cancer, TB, HIV and AIDS.

In order to organize and coordinate the planning and implementation of the programmes in the secretariat, the board is divided into three committees that provide the organizational support to the secretariat. The committees act as conduits for communication between the secretariat and the board. The programme heads in the secretariat including the executive director are ex officio members of the respective committees of the board.

The first committee is the Administration and Finance Committee. The objective of this committee is assisting in ensuring that the board fulfils its administrative and financial responsibilities, through adequate and relevant policy development, overseeing the financial and human resource management delegated to it by the Board.

The second is the Programmes and Resource mobilization committee. The primary objective of this committee is to provide guidance appropriate with the development of sustainable programmes and the implementation of appropriate resource mobilization strategy for the organization.

The third committee is the Governance and Institutional Management Committee. Its primary purpose is to facilitate development and implementation of strategies and systems that ensure growth and strengthening of DHAT (regional and country Programmes) as an organization in order to support effective, efficient and sustainable service delivery.

The functional linkages of the three committees facilitate for the overall effective and efficient coordination and implementation of programmes in the organization.




The Strategies

The following are the DHAT Strategies:


· Advocacy and Policy Influence
The purpose of the advocacy and policy influence strategy is to coordinate National DPOs programmes on sexual reproductive health, cervical cancer, TB, HIV and AIDS in order to enhance their role and impact at programmes level. Activities also seek to provide leadership and a common forum for concerted advocacy efforts for appropriate policies, legislation and human rights for Persons with Disabilities Living with HIV and AIDS.

· Research and Human Rights
DHAT promotes and supports research, networking and partnership building in sexual reproductive health, cervical cancer, TB, HIV and AIDS programmes among national DPOs, and other NGOs and development agencies. Activities also seek to provide leadership in human rights for Persons with Disabilities and those with Persons with Disabilities Living with HIV and AIDS.

· Capacity Building
DHAT supports to build and strengthen the capacity needs of organizations to deliver sound and effective programmes to their intended members. Training members in issues such as proposal writing, monitoring and evaluation have been some of the major aspects of the capacity building process.

· Partnerships at community and national Levels
To improve its role of coordination of Disability Movement Response to sexual reproductive health, cervical cancer, TB, HIV and AIDS in Southern Africa. The primary role of the coalitions is to provide a forum for information sharing and dissemination, facilitate joint advocacy initiatives and promoting joint planning. This works to strengthen coordination among the DPOs at national level.

· Resource Mobilization
One of the key aspects of DHAT’s strategic planning activities is that of Seed Grants. DHAT will in its efforts resource mobilize for DPOs and their members in terms of small/seed grants. The Small/Seed Grants project is open to all participants who can make a significant and marked contribution to Sexual reproductive health, cervical cancer and TB awareness, HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support.

· Women, Gender and Youth
DHAT supports and facilitates women, youth and gender inclusive policies and programmes. DHAT works in partnerships with women's and youth organizations in ensuring that sexual reproductive health, cervical cancer, TB, HIV and AIDS programmes have an impact in their programmes. DHAT seeks to provide leadership to women and youth in developing activities to influence change in policy, legislation and implementation.


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