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What it is

The original Stepping Stones – What is it?

The original Stepping Stones training programme is a training package on gender, HIV, communication and relationship skills. It is also sometimes described as a social norms change training package, covering many aspects of our lives, including why we behave in the ways we do, how gender, generation and other issues influence this, and ways in which we can change our behaviour, if we want to.

Stepping Stones was developed between 1993 and 1995, mainly in Uganda, working with a rural community, comprising Muslims, Protestants, Catholics and others, all living together in the same village. The package was designed in response to the vulnerability of most women, men and young people in decision-making regarding sexual behaviour, through men’s gendered patriarchal domination of women and older people’s generally repressive attitudes towards youth.


The revised and updated Stepping Stones and Stepping Stones Plus – What is it?

This fully revised and updated version of Stepping Stones, combined with its supplement, Stepping Stones Plus, was published in June 2016 by Practical Action Publishing. This new programme focuses on communication and relationship skills in the context of HIV, between the genders and across generations. Designed primarily to support young men and women of around 15 years upwards, and older men and women,  to work through the programme separately and together, the issues addressed are as relevant and topical as ever. There have been immense advances in scientific understanding and in medication to keep people living with HIV and their families alive, well and productive. Yet the basic issues which relate to HIV, including relationships with intimate partners, family members, neighbours, faith communities, and with health workers still need to be addressed, in order for those who need access to information, services and support to do so effectively. These critical communication and relationship issues are addressed through a transformative gendered, youth-friendly, mutually respectful, human rights lens through this programme.

The full title of this revised and updated Stepping Stones and Stepping Stones Plus manual is:

Welbourn, A. (2016) Stepping Stones and Stepping Stones Plus: A training package on gender, generation, HIV, communication, and relationship skills, Rugby, UK: Practical Action Publishing.


Stepping Stones with Children – What is it?

Stepping Stones with Children is our new manual, lead author Gill Gordon.  It is designed for use with children who are orphaned or vulnerable through HIV and AIDS, aged 5-8 and 9-14, and their caregivers. It is published by Practical Action Publishing.

The full title of this new programme is:

Gordon, G. et al. (2016) Stepping Stones with Children: A transformative training for children affected by HIV and their caregivers, Rugby, UK: Practical Action Publishing. To learn more about this new programme, please click here.