Helga, India


Helga, born in 1989

Country: India

Church: Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church

Project name:  Raising awareness for HIV and Aids

Short description

Through a series of public events the knowledge of young people and the marginalized community about HIV was raised.

The project took place in Jeypore, Orissa, India.

Project details

Goal

Use increased awareness in order to fight against HIV and Aids and stigmatization

Goal reached?

The goal was reached in so far as more than 350 members of the target heard the main message about the mode of transmission of HIV and effective prevention methods like abstinence and using condoms. There is also increased evidence that in our areas People living with HIV face less discrimination.

Major successes and challenges

The project was very well received: In the same way by the youth and the members of the poor community but also by the church leadership and the general public. Several newspaper articles were published about the project.

There were several challenges:

  • Recruiting volunteers was difficult because it is hard for young people to set aside time – especially if it is not paid.
  • In the church,  it is still difficult to speak about sexuality openly.
  • Illiteracy among many of the people makes it difficult to provide follow-up materials.
  • Poverty makes it hard for many people to take care of their health while they have to see that they get food.

Activities

  • Formation of a core group.
  • HIV and Aids workshop for the core group and friends in October 2008
  • On 30 Nov 2008 during worship the group distributed red ribbons “the sign of solidarity for HIV/AIDS and the hope to overcome this pandemic one day”, organized a signature campaign, and made booklets containing information about HID/AIDS available.
  • On 1st December in the morning  the team went to the village called Dhepguda. There street theatre was performed in order to sensitize the population with some basic knowledge.
  • On 7 February 2009, this was repeated by going to the poor neighborhood Noumi nagar.
  • The 7 February, there was also a very successful open air concert.
  • 13 May 2009: Another workshop for young people.

Number of people involved

Youth 216
Pastors 12
Poor community 150
Members of the church council 7
Members of the city council 28

What did you learn from the project?

  • “This was the first time for me to be directly responsible for a project.
  • Putting emphasis on defining the project objectives in line with the identified problems, finding probable solutions to it and measures to be taken in order to make life better.”
  • Presenting a point in a creative way.”

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