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Above: AHAPPY group in Dodoma comprising learners and trainers

AJAN trainers; Pascalia Sergon, Anne Kwamboka and Milkah Waithera, have just returned to Nairobi from Dodoma Tanzania, delighted to have conducted a AHAPPY training at Airport Parish-Blessed Maria-Theresa Ledochowska. This was a second trip to the location, having been there in June of 2018, but having left without completing the entire exercise owing to limited time.

The youth, eager to learn and having awaited the second part of this training for almost a year, approached the training sessions with enthusiasm and great expectation. The training prospectus entails five modules, and in the first trip, only three had been administered. The latest training happened over three days 4th to 6th of April 2019, guided by the AHAPPY generation handbook whereby the modules that had remained unfinished namely; ‘Knowing Myself to Grow Myself’ and ‘The Foundation on which I build Myself’ were undertaken.

The two modules are designed and centred on helping the youth to develop life skills through enhancing the youths’ self-knowledge and appreciation, decision making and moulding their relational abilities. In Dodoma, this was the driving force; enable the youths to identify their aptitudes and passion and having them build self-assurance.

“This is critical as it moulds them to a realization where they can identify and develop solutions to social and economic conundrums they happen to be in”, says Pascalia. As it is in life, there are values and principles that anchor a human being. Therefore AHAPPY training is designed to assist the youth to inform their behaviour with the weight and power of understanding, standing firm in belief in what is right. This safeguards a future with caution and elimination of risky conduct.

The Tanzanian youth, numbering 22, comprised 12 gentlemen and 10 ladies of between 19 and 24 years of age. They were encouraged to adopt perceptive and profound demeanour with the appreciation that a HIV-free Africa can only take a desire to learn and to grow and develop socially, economically and spiritually. This is possible if they become proactive and ready to take responsibility for their individual and collective decisions and engagements day to day.

In capping the process, as with all AHAPPY trainings, the Issuance of certificates to trainees after successful completion of the training process was done, with nineteen participants graciously taking home certificates to keep as a mark of an important dawn in their lives.

The host, Assistant Parish priest, Fr. Patrick Ng’ang’a was left happy and satisfied with the drill. Parish priest Eric Wanyonyi, is away on Tertianship. “I trust that these sessions have enabled the youth to be more aware of their talents and enhanced their understanding of issues to do with HIV and AIDS. I hope they become more self-dependant and responsible members of our society”, said Fr. Patrick adding “I believe they will become more effective agents of positive change, more passionate about being productive and I thank AJAN for facilitating this process”

Fr. Patrick Ng’ang’a, the host, chats with the learners

From the perspective of the participants, it was a much needed and useful training. Joseph Baraka says “We have learnt how to live our lives well and how to overcome some of challenges posed by the HIV and AIDS epidemic. I am ready to help other struggling youth in order to accept and overcome the reality of infection and how to prevent infection. After the first three courses introduced to us in June 2018, I was able to help some youth from Inyasi Wa Loyola Parish to overcome some challenges they had related to HIV and AIDS. I am grateful for this”.

Above from Left: Joseph Baraka, Anne Kwamboka (AJAN) with Maria Francis Sikonyo and Miriam Robert John

Maria Francis Sikonyo, who wishes to start a community health organization in future, this served as a great motivator for her. “After the first training in June 2018, I managed to assist some students at Lokundo secondary with skills on how to overcome some vexing issues in regards to HIV and AIDS. They were in form one to form four. I encouraged them to avoid peer groupings that are up to no good”.

Miriam Robert John, another of trainees, now turned trained, said “The first training of last year helped me to transform my life greatly: I changed my dressing significantly as I began to respect myself more. I have become a role model, as after my transformation, other youth began to say that they wanted to be like me. I am thankful to AJAN for this training.”

The AJAN team will now evaluate this exercise in Dodoma as they lay plans for the next one. The next exercise is likely to be in Benin at the beginning of June 2019.

Above Left: Milkah Waithera, trainer, engages students in a session as Right: Pascalia Sergon (trainer and AJAN Development Officer) makes a presentation in the training. 

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