Stepping Stones Information Form

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Links to Related Reports and Resources

Nurturing lasting change

JoinedhandsA Stepping Stones programme only offers some strong initial steps of a long journey to develop ways in which a community can work more effectively together for the mutual benefit of them all. Stepping Stones is not a “magic bullet”. However it can create an enabling environment for change, in which exciting realisations can happen and from which new ideas and plans can emerge. However these new ideas and plans need to be nurtured and supported over the following weeks, months and years, just as young seedlings need support to grow strong. It is often helpful to remind ourselves that it took around 60 years after initial research in Europe discovered that smoking tobacco affects our health, before the first public area smoking bans became law in Europe. Meanwhile, smoking is still very popular amongst young women especially in the UK. We often assume that sexual health and well-being and gender norms can somehow change overnight, whilst forgetting what history has shown us about how hard we find it to change other, far less taboo and intimate, social patterns.

One way in which the positive influences of the Stepping Stones programme can be nurtured is through supporting participants in communities to:

  •  develop their own action plans for change;
  •  to offer them opportunities to meet again regularly to reaffirm what they have learnt and decided together during the workshop process;
  •  to offer peer groups micro-credit to support plans for change which they may have;
  •  to enable them to draw on new and/or additional materials from other sources, on which they can draw for future discussions and exercises;
  •  to offer links to further information regarding specific technical topics.

Other useful resource materials

Links to related films and audio materials:

A. Our own Salamander Trust film channel on vimeo

This includes:

  1. The introductory clip to the original Stepping Stones workshop film. Strategies for Hope
  2. Stepping Stones Revisited – Strategies for Hope: an account of what has happened in the original community where Stepping Stones was used, 12 years later
  3. Stepping Stones with Children – short documentary and five films made by child and adult participants
  4. Seeking Safety: Stepping Stones in Malawi – short documentary and six films made by members of COWLHA Malawi and other community members
  5. Stepping Stones Community of Practice – short interviews with some of the leading Stepping Stones trainers around the world
  6. Other participatory film projects with women living with HIV, with accompanying short documentaries, from the Namibia Women’s Health Network, Mama’s Club Uganda and Positively UK. These cover many related issues which are addressed by the Stepping Stones programme, including peri-natal care, gender-based violence, property and inheritance rights, unplanned teenage pregnancy and more

B. Our HIV, Women and Motherhood Project: 14 interviews with women living  with HIV from around the world and two international women leaders, about issues facing women with HIV in relation to motherhood. Available both on-line and as a CD


Other useful film resources include:

  • Protection: Men and Condoms in the Time of HIV and AIDS. This film project was created by Jill Lewis, one of our trustees. It has an accompanying website
  • Courage and Hope. A film by the Partnership for Child Development about the work of teachers living openly with HIV in East Africa
  • Diamonds. A film made by HIV activist Susan Paxton about women living with HIV in the Asia Pacific region
  • What Can I do? Strategies for Hope film of Canon Gideon Byamugisha
  • Lullabye and The Dream – Lifeboat Films: two short films about Dutch children and their families affected by HIV


Links to related work:

A. Our own Salamander Trust has other projects which are highly relevant to Stepping Stones.

These include:

  1. Our UK-based 4M ‘Mentor Mothers’ grassroots programme to provide peer support to women living with HIV. 4M stands for My Health, My Choice, My Child, My Life. We are now working with our partners PIPE in Kenya and UNYPA in Uganda to pilot this programme, now called 4M+, in these two countries respectively.
  2. Our ALIV[H]E Framework, commissioned by UNAIDS and developed with our partners at HEARD, ATHENA Network, Project Empower and AIDS Legal Network. This framework explores how organisations and communities with whom they work can strengthen and expand the evidence-base as they seek to address the interlinkages of GBV and HIV
  3. Our WHO-commissioned global values and preferences study of the sexual and reproductive health and human rights of women living with HIV. The resulting report and peer-reviewed journals highlight many of the complex issues faced by women living with HIV
  4. Our UN Women-commissioned global treatment access review for women living with HIV. This work, with our partners ATHENA and AVAC, highlights the many challenging issues experienced by women living with HIV as they decide if, when and for how long to access anti-retroviral therapy safely.


Other useful resources include:

  • 16 Guidelines for life This is a toolkit for direct and practical tools for making life better by reflecting on the ways we think, speak, act and find meaning in life. Disponible dans francais.
  • Creating Compassionate Cultures provides training and tools to help us to understand and develop children’s happiness and positivity through learning.
  • Community Life Competence (also available in French and Spanish) /Disponible en español / dans francais.
  • Red Balance – Mujeres y VIH (en español).
  • Auntie Stella – TARSC, Zimbabwe. A training set of cards for young people to discuss key issues about sex, life and relationships.
  • It’s All One Curriculum – Population Council 2010. “A unified approach to sexuality, gender, HIV and Human Rights Education”. Available both on line and in hard copy.
  • Strategies for Hope materials – a wide range of books, guides, DVDs, available here
  • The SASA! programme, which also addresses the link between violence against women and HIV and AIDS. “Sasa” means “now” in ki-Swahili. This programme works at a wider community level over three years. It is highly recommended as an excellent follow-on from a Stepping Stones workshop.
  • Puntos de Encuentro, based in Nicaragua focuses on young people, gender and SRHR issues. It runs a magazine and a TV programme, both hugely popular.  It also produces materials and training for youth leaders and communicators. The name means “meeting places” in Spanish.


Links to information about microcredit programmes:

Research has shown for a long time that micro-credit programmes alone for women are not enough to effect the changes in gender norms that will sustainably support women. However, if micro-credit, or other means of financial independence for women and young women, such as paid work, supplements a programme such as Stepping Stones, there does seem to be far more chance of transformation of gender norms in that society. For a recent overview from the STRIVE consortium click here.