Children stand in front of a local store in a mountainous region of Swaziland—the country with the highest HIV rate in the world. One in every four people is infected with the virus, while everyone in this small country is affected. The children of Swaziland suffer the most, many losing their parents to the epidemic. But the children are also the future, empowered with knowledge and hope that the HIV epidemic can be conquered.
According to statistics, it is likely that at least one of the children in the photo has HIV.
The LAWRA YOUNGSTERS ASSOCIATION is an organization open to boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 24. The objectives of the Association are to educate youth, improve the community, train youth to become future leaders, to sensitize the youth against diseases such as HIV/AIDS, to organize HIV/AIDS clubs in various schools and to reduce the stigma against HIV/AIDS.
Marching is a long-standing tradition in Ghana since 1957 when Ghana gained its independence. Schools and community service organizations organize their students and members to spiff up in bright new uniforms and freshly polished shoes for competitive marching. The Lawra Youngsters prepared a banner especially for this occasion with the motto “Save Lives - Be Responsible.”
Peace Corps Volunteer Tiffany Saria works with Grassroot Soccer in Zambia, using soccer to teach HIV-prevention. She uses innovative curriculum, games and soccer activities to education youth about HIV transmissions and life skills.
The photo was taken in South Africa at a school where Peace Corps Volunteers and their counterparts had their permagarden training. People were encouraged to design plots in different shapes to get young people interested in gardening and to use as a teaching aid.
In this one in particular, a message about HIV/AIDS is communicated, that we need vegetables to feed HIV/AIDS infected and affected.
I served in Peace Corps Mozambique from September 2007- November 2009. During my time, I started a community art group within the secondary school, as a branch of JOMA (a Portuguese acronym for “Youth for Change and Action”). JOMA is a nationwide youth development organization started by Peace Corps Volunteers that uses communication mediums at the local level to promote healthy behavior among Mozambican youth, with a mission of social change.
My group in Monapo, Mozambique created over 5 murals in our community to promote awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS. This photo is with Momade Abdul, the group leader, helping create a mural in our local market named, “The fight with AIDS starts with us.”
Students Reading the Truth and Myths About HIV/AIDS
At my primary school in Burkina Faso, I collaborated with the teachers to teach the oldest grade level about the myths and the truth about HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and stigma. In the photo students are reading a hand-out before we began the activity.
These photos show the final product of the mural the students and teachers painted at my primary school in Burkina Faso in January 2012. The mural followed activities I led with the teachers to teach the students about HIV/AIDS transmission, prevention and stigma.
My husband, Ben, and I were Volunteers in the rural village of Mokuruanyane, South Africa from 2007-2009. I was a Community & HIV/AIDS Outreach Project Volunteer and Ben was an Education Volunteer.
My primary project was working with four women educators to develop Chrysalis Girls Club, an after-school girls empowerment program for the 75 7th grade girls in our village. In the 2008 school year, six weeks of our program were devoted to women’s reproductive health, sex education, and HIV/AIDS awareness & prevention. The girls designed an HIV/AIDS mural, and Ben worked with five male students from the secondary school to sketch the mural onto the wall of Abbotspoort Higher Primary School.
While I worked with the women educators to provide HIV/AIDS education, Ben supervised the girls in painting the mural. Ben took this photo in November 2008, at the end of our first successful year of Chrysalis Girls Club. The mural faces the main road that runs through Mokuruanyane.
Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Susia Barr-Wilson
I was helping make hamburgers and fries with some other Volunteers for some of our Cameroonian friends while visiting my regional capital. I love children here and this young girl seemed amiable enough that I could approach her. She didn’t quite get the fist bump so it turned into a one finger and thus, voila, E.T. phone home!
“In my community, women are often overlooked as a resource.”
- Peace Corps Volunteer Katy Todd, who is working with a fellow Volunteer and their community in Togo to promote women’s empowerment by organizing a national women’s wellness and empowerment conference