On 15th and 16th December 2022, the newly trained AJAN AHAPPY team in Ngara, Tanzania successful organized and undertook a two-day seminar for the young people at AICT church in Ngara town. The trainers for the sessions were Mr. Fredinand Sebastien Chongera, Mr. Eliakimu Emmanuel Byemerwa and Mr. Noelina Damian Jacob.
The seminar which was attended by 20 youth: 8 boys and 12 girls was an HIV/AIDS awareness session on the effects of HIV/AIDS on the youth. It is reported by UNICEF that we have 1.7 million people living with HIV in Tanzania as of 2019. The national HIV prevalence among adolescents and adults aged 15–49 years decreased slightly from 5.1% in 2014 to 4.8% in 2019. Prevalence among women is higher compared to men (6.2% versus 3.7%). The number of people living with HIV increased from 1.3 million in 2010 to 1.7 million in 2019, while deaths associated with AIDS decreased from 52,000 in 2010 to 27,000 in 2019.
In order to ensure the safety of our young people, the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) in collaboration with the Radio Kwizera team in Ngara undertakes advocacy and supports the trainees of the AJAN HIV and AIDS Prevention Program for the Youth (AHAPPY) in accompanying young people to live a hope-filled future by creating and spearheading awareness that focuses on structural and behavioral interventions, imparting knowledge on sexual reproductive health through youth seminars and teen clubs, psychological support for those affected and infected with HIV and violence prevention in order to empower participants, as well as utilizing radio platforms such as Radio Kwizera and social media to reach and engage young people.
The organized seminar for the youth came a month after the trainees had successful completed a 5-day AHAPPY training. At the end of the training for the youth Mr. Eliakimu Emmanuel Byemerwa, AHAPPY program trainer said, “We thank God for enabling us to take the youth through the two-day seminar, the young people were able to learn something new from the seminar. They fully participated in the activity we organized for them, they are appreciative for the knowledge that we have shared with them and they promised to share whatever they have learned with their families back at home.
From the awareness training carried out, we are happy that the youth were prompted to take action, from the 20 youth trained 5 have been able to undertake the HIV/AIDS test at the local health centers. Apart from the training AJAN AHAPPY team in Ngara takes the initiative of helping street children in Ngara town and carrying out the youth against drugs campaign. The group gets to be a gift to other people who are in need of help since all of us are a gift from God.
Report Written by,
Mr. Noelina Damian Jacob
Secretary General, AJAN AHAPPY Team in Ngara, Tanzania
Report Compiled by,
AJAN Communications and Research Officer