RAISING AWARENESS WITH YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY
Allen, 23, is one of the Peer Educators working with Temwa on the Mobile Volunteer Testing and Counselling units. Like other Peer Educators, Allen works to promote understanding of HIV/AIDS by raising awareness in his community.
Allen’s father, the main breadwinner of the family, died in 2010. Thus, Allen was unable to finish school, as without his father’s financial support his family could no longer afford the fees. As Allen did not finish school, prospects for finding work were severely limited.
In 2012, Allen became a Peer Educator for Temwa. He is now responsible for raising awareness about HIV/AIDS, educating communities on how to prevent the spread of the disease and aiming to reduce the associated stigma. Allen does this by arranging meetings in schools and health centres, where he uses educational dramas, poems, and songs to lead focus group discussions. These events take place once or twice a week in his community. Plus Allen travels to other areas two or three times a month to run similar events.
As a Peer Educator, Allen has learnt new skills and improved his job prospects. In 2012 he completed three days training in interactive drama. Then in 2014 he was trained in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Psychosocial Counselling. This has given him the necessary skills to pursue his dream of becoming a health counsellor for the government.
Allen had this to say to Temwa;