Liberia is home to 4,918,367 people, equivalent to 0.06% of the total world population (United Nations 2019 Estimates). In 2016, approximately 43,000 (34 000 – 55 000) people were living with HIV. According to UNAIDS, AIDS response in the country faces numerous challenges including frequent antiretroviral therapy stock-outs. Ebola out breaks in the country is equally big blow to the health system. Youth unemployment is high. Harsh economic times make them highly susceptible to high risk behaviour in an effort to earn a living. It is now that Liberia is slowly coming out of the devastating effects of the prolonged civil war.
Jesuits of North West Africa in Monrovia, Liberia led by Fr. Michael Edomobi who is the parish priest at the Holy Family Catholic Church are actively mentoring the youth by equipping them with self- management skills so as to make informed choices and thereby contribute towards the reduction of HIV infection in the country.
34 youth were trained on AJAN HIV and AIDS Prevention Programme (AHAPPY). Participants composed of trainees from Holy Family Catholic Church and youth from Holy Family High School, members of the health club. 28 participants who successfully completed the 5 modules training were awarded certificates of participation.
During the training, it was evident on the urgent need to explore ways to meaningfully engage the youth on incoming generating activities as a means to self-employment and reliance as a way of reducing HIV infections through meaningful production and building of economic bases of the youth. The training was conducted between 16th and 23rd November, 2018.