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WHY CAN’T I BE LIKE THEM?

Twenty-two-year-old Mainga Munsanje, a peer educator with the Chikuni Parish HBC, shares her experience of the JAP workshop:

As a peer educator, the workshop has created a lot of confidence within me. The speakers were excellent and presented the materials with lots of motivation. After the workshop, I asked myself: “Why can’t I be like them?”

The workshop was an eye opener about many AIDS-related issues, especially for young people, and I feel that now I can talk about HIV/AIDS from a more informed point of view than before.

When we covered the topic of self-awareness. I was grateful because I had an opportunity to come face to face with myself, to reflect on my life for the first time before going out into the community to meet other young people and to help them through the same process.

We looked at communication and barriers. When you communicate, you essentially send a message and there should always be feedback. This understanding helped me so much because now I can teach other young people and look for feedback from them.

We looked at sex and sexuality, an interesting topic. I learnt more and more about my own sexuality as a young woman, not least to better understand young men. I feel I can now comfortably talk about routes of transmission of HIV and prevention through abstinence.

Thanks to the workshop, I have seen benefits in my personal life as well as my work as a peer educator. Before, I didn’t spend too much time reflecting about my life. Since the workshop, I keep checking my attitude towards sex, and my sexuality in general, and the abuse of alcohol. Before, I was easily influenced by other youth to drink irresponsibly. The workshop taught me how to overcome this, to be prudent and not so easily swayed.

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