The inside track from Progressio's International development experts

How can volunteers support women living with HIV in Malawi?

Joana Phiri is an in-country ICS volunteer with Progressio in N’gabu, Malawi. As we prepare to mark World AIDS Day, Joana told us about her experience working alongside support groups for women living with HIV and AIDS. Find out what volunteers in Malawi are doing right now to combat stigma against HIV by reading Joana’s blog here.

“We went to N’gabu to visit four support groups for women living with HIV and AIDS. The main aim was to find out the problems they are facing and what they think the solutions to these problems might be.

Challenging discriminatory social norms against young women to prevent HIV and AIDS

In many countries, the expectation of young women to remain abstinent until marriage restricts them from access to information about protecting themselves from pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Infections like HIV. Often, health systems don’t help them protect themselves from HIV and AIDS because of their social status as young women.

The International Development Bill needs your help

The International Development Bill, which has the potential to enshrine the 0.7% aid spending commitment as a law, passed its Second Reading in September. It was a big achievement and, here at Progressio, we were hugely grateful to our supporters for lobbying their MPs on the vote.

Now, the time has come to mobilise once again. The Bill has successfully moved through its Committee and Report stage and is now ready for its Third Reading in the House of Commons. This will take place on Friday 5 December


ICS latrine builders celebrate World Toilet Day

The availability of a working toilet is close to the heart of anyone who has backpacked around the developing world, but there are more serious beniefits to having a clean and private place to go to the loo. 

Today is World Toilet Day.  Not as romantic as Valentine’s Day nor as fun-filled as St Patrick’s perhaps, but much more important. 

Watch Dan's film about building eco latrines in Nicaragua

Dan Hitchins-Samson has made a film about his ICS team's experience building 30 eco latrines in El Pochote, Nicaragua this summer.

Watch the work in progress and hear from UK and in-country volunteers about how the eco latrines will benefit the rural community, and about their experience of being involved in the project. 

#EU2030: the climate deal that doesn’t go far enough, fast enough

The EU has agreed a much-needed climate deal which lays down the Union’s commitments on climate and energy from now until 2030. This is a demonstration of its ability to agree on targets in a time of continued economic austerity and in the face of ongoing global challenges.

Many had feared that the leaders of the EU’s Member States would be unable to reach consensus and move forward with a binding outcome, so the fact a deal has been reached is encouraging.

Here is a breakdown of what has actually been agreed:


Your voice is needed to ensure Cameron’s climate commitment

The EU council are about to meet in an attempt to agree a final EU climate deal.  This is something that European leaders have already tried and failed to do once this year. This is crunch time. And this is crucial. We need you to help us tell Cameron to act on his promise.


Elsy Mendoza, making piñatas to provide for her family

Since 2008, the International Day of Rural Women has sought to acknowledge and recognise the critical role and contribution of rural women in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty. To mark the day, Progressio ICS volunteer, Benjamin Jones, visited Elsy Mendoza, a single mother living in the community of Santa Cruz. This is the blog he wrote after meeting Elsy.