How We Work
The Stephen Lewis Foundation partners with organizations led by and for community members in 14 countries most affected by the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. The expertise needed to turn the tide of HIV and AIDS is found at the community level, and we work with organizations leading exceptionally effective responses.
Our partnerships are flexible, long-term, and mutually accountable. Recognizing our geographic location and the power dynamic inherent to being an international funder, our partnership approach centres the work of community-led organizations, and is grounded in human rights, social justice and solidarity, not charity. We learn from and contribute to our partners’ work through a commitment to relationship building, including regular check-ins, in-person visits by SLF field representatives, roundtable discussions, comprehensive reporting, and community participation.
“We have partnered with a number of donors, and the Stephen Lewis Foundation is different,” shared Samia Masinde, a leader at Tamba Pwani, a community-led organization in Kenya. “You don’t tell us what to do – you give us support, and we walk together as partners, as human beings.”
SLF partners restore hope, resilience and well-being for individuals, families and communities affected by HIV and AIDS. Their people-centred responses are proven in promoting effective HIV treatment and prevention. Our partners have deep connections with their communities and rely on networks of dedicated staff and volunteers. They know what works. They have documented results. And they need resources to sustain this progress, support frontline workers, and expand their reach.
Building capacity is an important part of our work. We create opportunities for SLF partners to share successful strategies and strengthen networks. Whenever possible, where HIV policy and funding decisions are being made at the international level, we ensure SLF community-led partners are present, heard and counted. We urge the international funding community to fully value and support grassroots responses in sub-Saharan Africa by funding local solutions to safeguard decades of progress made against the HIV and AIDS epidemic.