Strengthening Perspectives and Building Capacity of Foreign Service Personnel on Migration and HIV

In 2004, ACHIEVE, Inc. implemented a project that aimed to institutionalize HIV and Migration education in the training curriculum of the Foreign Service Institute (DFA), the training arm of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Supported by the Programme Acceleration Funds (PAF) of UNAIDS, this project aimed to build the capacity of foreign service officers (FSO) and personnel in handling HIV and AIDS concerns of OFWs onsite. The project entailed the conduct of three trainings, dubbed as “Strengthening Perspectives and Building Capacity of Foreign Serice Personnel/Officers in Handling HIV and AIDS cases among OFWs.” These were conducted for personnel and trainers of FSI, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). A separate training was also conducted for Batch 11 of FSOs in their Cadetship Programme. These trainings resulted in the integration of an HIV and Migration module in the Cadetship programme of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), as well as in the Pre-departure Orientation Seminars (PDOS) of all departing Embassy, Consulate and overseas Labor Office personnel.
Since 2005, ACHIEVE has been conducting HIV prevention and case-handling seminar-workshops in the quarterly PDOS of foreign service personnel and in the annual FSO Cadetship Programme. Apart from these, it had conducted separate trainings for OWWA Welfare Officers; DSWD Social Workers for deployment abroad; Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs, locally-based FSI and DFA personnel. These capacity building activities were supplemented by a guidebook, “Positive Response: A Guidebook in Handling HIV/AIDS Cases among OFWs for Foreign Service Service Personnel” and an information video on HIV and migration realities (Mga Bagong Bayani: Dapat Ligtas sa HIV) that were distributed to all the Philippine posts abroad. To date, more than 1,000 foreign service personnel and officers have been given HIV orientation seminars, including basic information on handling case among OFWs.