BFLA also hoped the dialogues would generate ideas for strengthening its services and increasing its client load, improve its image in the community, and enhance its ability to work effectively with the government to bring about positive policy change.
Moreover, BFLA faced this challenge while attempting to implement a project that was thematically controversial and potentially explosive.
The following pages describe the process by which BFLA met these challenges and reinvented itself as a more successful clinic, a valuable agency in the battle against HIV, a dynamic catalyst of social change, and a national actor in the health sector of Belize.
To implement the new project, BFLA needed to undergo a transition from a stagnating clinical organization to a dynamic community-based one dealing with sensitive issues.
Together with Lucella Campbell (the IPPF Program Officer with regional responsibility for the Caribbean), Rosberg met with the BFLA Board several times.
BFLA made a significant investment in preparing the staff at all levels.
For example, if community discussions emphasized prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, the BFLA clinic was going to have to do a better job of providing that service.
The organization had never sought community feedback in designing its services, and BFLA was not the first name that came to mind for most Belizeans when they were asked which organization had roots in the community, listened to their concerns, and worked together with them.
Daunting perhaps, but it was not overwhelming for the determined BFLA staff.
Although some village leaders expressed skepticism that men would allow their wives to participate in open discussion groups about sensitive topics, most were encouraging and helped to guide BFLA as it reached out to respected members of the community.