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Pauline Wanjau, AHAPPY manager, AJAN House

“One of the greatest challenges I foresee is the way or the methods used to educate youth about this pandemic. It is no solution to offer quick fixes, such as condom distribution, to deal with rising cases of new infections and AIDS-related deaths among adolescents and other young people.

“Many times, faith-based organisations (FBOs) like AJAN are seen as rigid, but the problem is much bigger than this. FBOs need to be courageous, to come out and be heard. However, to be relevant, they need user-friendly tools to make their voice heard and to communicate their message. We need to be highly effective in how we respond. Perhaps more than anything, we need to listen keenly and respectfully to young people, to accompany them in ways that fit their needs.

“For me, the hope is the other side of the same coin: hope that youth can get quality formation that highlights the beauty of their humanity. This means teaching young people not only about to prevent an evil, but how to believe in themselves and how to take healthy and life-giving decisions. At AJAN, we believe that we offer this holistic formation through AHAPPY.

“The values to be found in Church teachings are gems that underpin and complete the whole process. They are a foundation that gives security, and hope that the future is in safe hands, even in the hard times of a pandemic.”

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