The African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) in collaboration with the Catholic Diocese of Homabay is currently undertaking AJAN HIV and AIDS Prevention Programme for the Youth (AHAPPY) Training of Trainers (ToT) from the 23rd to 27th of May 2023 at Golgotha Pastoral Center in Sori, Homabay County, Kenya.
Welcoming the AJAN facilitator was Fr. Tom Joseph Mboya, Education Secretary, Catholic Diocese of Homabay and Fr. Patrick Marcelin Ochieng, youth Chaplain Catholic Diocese of Homabay. The AJAN facilitators included; Ms. Pascalia Sergon, Mr. Dennis Owuoche, Dr. Julia Ngalula and Ms. Mary Wanjogu.
The training that is being attended by 14 youth leaders selected from different deaneries within the Catholic Diocese of Homabay is targeted at providing participants with spiritual nourishment, adequate knowledge, attitudes and risk perception toward HIV & STIs prevention practices, Maternal & Child Health and Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission.
At the start of the training, all participants were challenged to realize afresh their pre-conceived ideas of what they think best practices and attitudes are, these included ideas or questions needing answers that they were not aware of just yet. Participants needed to realize God has empowered every person differently with talents and abilities they have, and they were required to use them to empower themselves and take care of the world they live in.
The youth leaders in attendance highlighted that the youths that live within the Catholic Diocese of Homabay were facing a myriad of problems such as unemployment, lack of self-awareness and self-actualization, uncertainty and emotional anxieties, alcohol and drug abuse, High infection of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, youth violence, and lack of formal and informal education.
Though the challenges faced by the youth of today are challenges that either break them or make them, Pope Benedict saw the youth as young people who yearned for happiness: “In every period of history, including our own, many young people experience a deep desire for personal relationships marked by truth and solidarity. Many of them yearn to build authentic friendships, to know true love, to start a family that will remain united, to achieve personal fulfillment and real security, all of which are the guarantee of a serene and happy future.”
AJAN recognizes the positive impact of young people on the church and societies and through this undertaking of integral formation of the young people in the Catholic Diocese of Homabay AJAN works to fulfill the mission of the Church and Society of Jesus.
The third of the new universal apostolic preferences advocates us all in accompanying young people and the creation of open spaces in society and in the church with them and for them, which is in line with Father General Arturo Sosa words, ‘Our works seek to be spaces open to youthful creativity, spaces that both foster an encounter with the God of life revealed by Jesus and deepen the Christian faith of the young. Such spaces should help young people discern the path by which they can achieve happiness by contributing to the well-being of all humankind.’
More to follow…
By Dennis Owuoche,
AJAN Communications Officer
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