HIV / AIDS
What’s the Issue on HIV and AIDS?
It is estimated that two thirds of the world’s population living with AIDS are located in sub-Saharan Africa, including Tanzania, with a large majority of those affected being women, young adults and children. People impacted by HIV and AIDS often experience poverty, homelessness, school drop-out, discrimination, loss of life opportunity and early death.
Tanzania has one of the highest national HIV and AIDS prevalence rates in the world. As the largest country in East Africa, it bears a large share of the global epidemic.
The estimated HIV prevalence rate is 8.6% among adults aged 15-49, and 65% of new infections occur among youth aged 15-24 years.
In Tanzania, lack of awareness and education, as well as gender inequality, are some of the main drivers of the epidemic.
Moreover, women and girls are disproportionally affected, influenced by factors including low educational attainment, early and forced marriage, fertility expectations, sexual violence and economic inequalities.
As a result many females as well as men do not have a basic knowledge about how their bodies work, sex or sexuality, and do not know how to prevent HIV infection. In many instances, poor family relationships and strong religious beliefs make these kinds of subjects very taboo within the family unit and so for many adolescents there is nowhere to learn about these sensitive issues. Consequently, social expectations and economic necessity mean that adolescents and women comply with sexual demands despite the lack of protection.
What is CASEC doing?
CASEC is providing fundamental information to youths, both within and out with formal education, through partner schools and their own Youth Centre, on the topic of HIV/AIDs, STIs, reproductive health and life skills. Youths are engaged in workshops, lead by peer educators, that give them the opportunities to discuss and explore such taboo topics.
- Create awareness of HIV and AIDS-related issues through schools – sensitising youths from 10 schools, from form 1 to form 4, on HIV and AIDS, and enabling 1,000 students to participate in educational workshops organised by CASEC four time per year.
- Empower youths – by identifying and training ‘Student Peer Educators’ who will help implement the project; by supporting 1,000 students in skills development, self-confidence building and assertiveness training; and by establishing and strengthening school ‘health clubs’ and libraries at each school, as a base for implementing the project.
- Develop learning materials – producing leaflets, brochures and posters, to increase awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS; and producing reports and case studies relevant to the project, to be presented to teachers, school boards, government and other NGOs.
- Talent Development – enable up to 1,000 youths to participate in various inter-school games and sports competitions, music festivals, arts and craft activities, thereby providing an additional arena in which HIV and AIDS issues can be discussed with new groups of youths.
- Training Peer Educators – empowering youths by identifying and training 120 ‘Student Peer Educators’ to facilitate sessions on HIV/AIDs and STIs within schools.
SCHOOL HEALTH CLUBS AND STUDENTS PERFOMANCE
CASEC has been involved in facilitating the establishment and running of school health clubs since 2001. This year CASEC organized an inter school health club competition involved three schools health clubs. The essay focused on HIV and AIDS. The competition was done in two phases. The first phase involved 86 students. The best four students from each school competed in phase two and best three were selected.
The winners were awarded presents at their schools before all students and teachers. The presentation of presents was existing event to all school community and an incentive for more students to join school health clubs.
The exercise was a good opportunity for CASEC to learn the roles of school health clubs in schools. During the presentation of presents to winners teachers said that health club had facilitated club members to acquire self discipline and improved members behavior in and outside classes. The acquired discipline helped many members to perform well academically and in non academic school activities.
One of the heads of schools said that the competition helped one of the neglected talents which are supposed to be developed in schools. These identifying and developing future writers. The teacher said that whenever people talked about identifying and developing talents in schools people focus in sports only.
Photograph: Winners of Essay Writing Competition from 2 project schools
SPORTS LEADERSHIP AND SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH TRAINING.
CASEC in collaboration with Yes Tanzania conducted a training on sports leadership and sexual reproductive health. For school health club peer leaders the training was conducted on 2nd September, 2016 at the Arusha Declaration hall. About 26 participants participated on the training. Out of 26 participants, 14 were peer leaders, 4 health guardians representatives, 2 Yes Tanzania representatives, and 6 CASEC staff and volunteers. Out of 14 peer leaders who participated in the training, 7 were female and 7 male. The training included peer leaders from seven secondary schools. The training was facilitated by two facilitators, Dr.Japhet Champanda (District Aids Controller (DAC) from Arusha District Council) facilitated the aspects of sexual reproductive health, and Mr. Samuel Mpenzu (Sports facilitator from YES TANZANIA) facilitated on the area of sports leadership.
The training objectives were to build the capacity of health club peer leaders on sexual reproductive health education, menstrual hygiene management and gender related issues. Also the training focused to equip health club peer leaders with skills on sports leadership and how to use sports messages when training fellow students in schools. The key issues taught during the training included sexual reproductive health and STI’s related diseases, Menstrual Hygiene Management, Sexual Reproductive Health and Youths in regard to Sports Leadership.