Did you know that pre-teens and teenagers are among the most vulnerable to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa? In Tanzania, young people ages 15 through 24 make up 60% of new infections each year.Here’s how your support will help students in Tanzania become equipped to live healthy lives free from HIV/AIDS.
In June, Global Service Corps (GSC) will run its 11th annual HIV/AIDS Peer Education and Life Skills Day Camp. The two-week long camp will work with over 200 local high school students from two schools in rural Tanzania with the goal of educating youth about HIV/AIDS prevention.
During the Day Camp, GSC volunteers provide students skills to mitigate the spread of HIV/AIDS. These camps are designed to be an interactive way for Tanzanian students to learn about HIV/AIDS, prevention, relationships, and sexuality in a fun, creative, and ultimately sustainable manner. These students then disseminate information about HIV/AIDS, life skills, and other health issues through peer health clubs at their schools during the rest of the year.
GSC volunteers work collaboratively with local teachers, peer educators, and Tanzanian counterparts to teach a pre-designed education curriculum that includes lessons in HIV/AIDS, the biology of HIV/AIDS and the immune system, STIs, healthy lifestyle choices, gender roles, and life skills such as setting goals and dealing with peer pressure.
Coupled with education and awareness, teaching life skills is an essential component that enables students to make good decisions in the midst of challenging situations that can lead to HIV, STIs, and unplanned pregnancy. Meshack Solomon, a former GSC Day Camp graduate, shares, “Learning life skills changed me. I painted art on my wall that showed all the things like decision making, and not drinking…things that would help me achieve a good life. I painted it where I could see it every morning waking up and planning for my day.”
Over the past 10 years, GSC has worked with 32 schools in rural and urban Tanzania, equipping over 3,000 students with the knowledge to teach peers, friends, and family about HIV/AIDS. In addition, peer health clubs have been established and maintained in all of these schools, providing sustainable, year-long forums for HIV/AIDS education and prevention.
In order for GSC to maintain this vital work with the youth of Tanzania, WE NEED YOUR HELP. Even from far away, you can play a vital part in fighting the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS and assisting in saving lives. Your support of any amount is needed now. Your donation can help sponsor Tanzanian students to attend the Camp, train and support Camp counselors, buy lunches for the students, purchase supplies, and expand Day Camps to serve middle school students who are becoming increasingly at risk for contracting HIV.
To learn more about GSC’s Day Camp Program, including a detailed Case Study on HIV/AIDS and Youth in Tanzania, please click on the photos to the left or follow this link: http://www.globalservicecorps.org/site/tz-case-studies-hiv/