HIV/AIDS Education Project
HIV/AIDS education remains out of reach for many in rural communities, so in 2012, with a grant from the Global Fund for Women, we developed an HIV/AIDS Education project in Nyamagongo. Our primary goal is to provide education, testing, treatment referral, and counseling. We aim to empower HIV-positive individuals with the necessary skills to cope with the impact of HIV/AIDS on their families and to raise awareness of government resources and patient rights.
We hired Linda Arot, one of our teachers, also a certified HIV counselor, to head the project. Herself, HIV-positive, Linda was eager to teach other women about her success in keeping her family HIV-negative. Through this project, we have sponsored health education events and provided care to over 300 local residents with the help of our partner, Shirati Hospital, and the Tanzanian government's HIV/AIDS clinics.
In early 2013, Linda created the Positive Living Support Group, to engage those who had completed the first round of classes. The group organizes HIV/AIDS education events and conducts weekly meetings with HIV-positive members, those at risk, and their partners. Linda, a highly respected health educator and community leader, trains the participants as health advocates who provide HIV/AIDS education for the surrounding communities. Four social work interns, volunteering with REACH Shirati, have spent six months at a time working with Linda on our health program.
Our project has become a regional success and expanded to nearby Sota and Mchere villages in late 2013.
'He who learns, teaches' Ethiopian Proverb