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HIV, Healthy Living and Self-Awareness Sensitization among “O-Level” Learners in Gulu

On Tuesday 14th, March 2023 the AHAPPY team in Ocer Campion Jesuit College, Gulu, Uganda journeyed with the “O-level” learners towards realization and maximization of their potentials by steering an extended discussion on Health and self-awareness, to instill confidence in them to realize their worth and abilities. The seminar’s aim was to empower young people with knowledge to take care of their own health. They are to be familiar with causes, symptoms and prevention measures for various diseases. With this knowledge the learners will be able to lead a healthy lifestyle and protect their communities.

Early pregnancy, HIV prevalence among the Youth and moral deterioration were among the interesting areas of discussion. Poverty, lack of education and relaxed law enforcement system were mentioned as the main causes of early pregnancies. While the increase in globalization and urbanization were the main causes of moral decline and prevalence of HIV among the youth.

The trainers Sch. Rovelt Msaki SJ and Md. Monica AHAPPY coordinators facilitated the learning process, where they interacted with learners with most of them strongly believing that young girls fall prey to old men in search for a relief in their social economical welfare. The desire to attain some of the basic needs and experience a good life has left many broken. Moreover, some families still hold onto traditions and give their daughters into marriage for wealth regardless of age and education background. Education and girls’ empowerment are the get ways to redeem the value of the young girls. The learners were encouraged to know that it is important for them to raise awareness to the communities about the effects of early marriages and more so warn the girls about the risks.

The trainees of the day shared with the learners that Globalization and urbanization may be one of the key factors that is affecting our present-day youths, as it is embraced differently by different people. Some have massively benefited from it while others not. Globalization leads to weakening of social bonds, relations and connection sometimes resulting into tendencies of suicide and depression. Adaption of westernized values and thoughts has led to deterioration of belief in local knowledge and practices which is also harming basic social institutions like family and marriage.

At the end of our discussion, our learners appreciated our services and the content we shared with them. They have learned new ways of living healthy and keeping focus on their goals. They are now certain about their career choices and they are looking to making more rational selections of careers considering all factors. We are grateful to the AHAPPY team at Ocer and AJAN for making this event fruitful. We are looking forward to holding more of the same for it has proven to be productive and interactive.

By, Sch. Rovelt Msaki SJ

AHAPPY Coordinator and Teacher at Ocer Campion Jesuit College

Ismael Matambura



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