Give children the gift of information
Children are at risk from HIV and AIDS
Over the last 20 years, HIV and AIDS has evolved from a health burden to a serious development crisis with visible social and economic effects on the entire community.
Many people do not understand how it spreads and their lack of knowledge places them at risk of catching the disease. Some believe there is no way to protect themselves from the virus, while others hold cultural beliefs that actually make them more vulnerable.
Children, particularly teenagers, are especially vulnerable as their sexual behaviour can lead to increased rates of infection. There are now over 7,000 new HIV infections per day amongst 15 to 24 years olds in sub-Saharan Africa.
There are effective and practical solutions we can implement to reduce the risk and impact of HIV and AIDS within the communities where we work. By ensuring that children and the wider community have access to information on preventing HIV and AIDS we can help reduce the risk of the disease. We can achieve this through two very simple solutions:
Health clubs in each school provide a forum where pupils can meet to chat about difficult subjects like HIV and AIDS, drugs and teenage pregnancy, using plays, songs and poetry to stimulate discussion. Meetings are led by peer educators who have been selected by the pupils themselves, and who then receive training in communication and leadership. Peer educators are also selected amongst the teachers and parents to spread the message to the wider school community.
Savings and loans groups:
Joining a savings and loans group will enable households to earn interest from their savings as well as take out small, short-term loans to invest in income generating activities. The interest earned on savings, as well as increased investments in these activities, can then be used to pay for medicines such as the anti-retroviral drugs needed to enable HIV positive people live with AIDS.
In addition, all groups put money into a welfare fund which gives members access to loans at 0% rate of interest for medical emergencies. This provides an important safety net for those families who have one or more members who are HIV positive.
Read more about how Margaret, a widow living with HIV in Uganda, has benefited from joining a savings and loans group here.
How you can help
We urgently need people to sponsor health clubs and savings and loans groups, giving the gifts of information and access to medicines to children and their families.
- A £500 donation would pay to train pupil and teacher peer educators and hold meetings to raise awareness amongst the parents to help reduce HIV infection rates
- A £500 donation would also support a savings and loans group for one year, giving families access to safe financial services and helping them pay for the medicines they need to live with AIDS and treat other common diseases.
If you are interested in sponsoring a particular school and community to raise awareness and reduce the damaging effects of HIV and AIDS, please get in touch today.
If you would like to make a donation now, please click the Donate button.