Support for "Youth Alive" AIDS Prevention Program in Uganda
Project Code: 158-20-49
It was in 1982 that Miriam Duggan, a qualified doctor and Franciscan religious Sister, diagnosed AIDS for the first time. When more and more patients came to her and subsequently died from the disease, and when she saw their children orphaned and left to be looked after by their grandmothers, who already had scarcely enough to live on for themselves, she decided she had to do something. She started by visiting schools to teach the children in the classrooms about the dangers of the epidemic. Then, finally, in 1993, she founded the organization “Youth Alive.”
Since then the initiative has spread enormously, organized in different clubs. In Uganda alone, there are 780 clubs, each with at least 50 members. Today the Youth Alive movement has implemented numerous AIDS awareness programs and has reached over 3 million people in the past 15 years with its AIDS prevention campaigns. The movement has even spread beyond Uganda's borders and is present in no fewer than 80 different countries, above all on the African continent.
The organization works closely together with other initiatives and with hospitals, adhering strictly to the recommendations of the Ugandan health ministry: to teach young people in detail about the risks of sexual activity, to strengthen social norms, and improve the quality of treatment of HIV-positive patients. The Youth Alive leaders, themselves mostly young people, make quite clear that sexual continence and faithful relationships are still the best way of avoiding infection with the HIV virus.
In order to be able to reach as many people as possible, they organize workshops in the schools and parishes. And they are well equipped for the task. "We do a lot of music-making and theater, so that the young people can get the message and pass it on and so help to educate one another," Sister Miriam tells us.
"The goal of Youth Alive was, and still is, to help children and young adults adopt a healthy and proactive lifestyle, free of HIV / AIDS, and so have the chance to fulfill their dreams for the future." So runs the message in a description of the program.
ACN is supporting this program with a contribution of $9,900. Will you join in supporting this Catholic AIDS prevention work in Uganda?
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