Help 1,000 HIV+ Ugandan Youth Thrive!

A microproject by Alive Medical Services
Help 1,000 HIV+ Ugandan Youth Thrive!

When Nadia was 10 years old, she was hospitalized for an entire month. She had no idea she was HIV positive until months later – and she didn’t realize the weight HIV carried until she returned to primary school.

“My teachers would always say you can’t do this, you can’t do that,” Nadia said. “They acted like I was so fragile. Like I could faint at any moment.”

For months, Nadia felt isolated. The kids at school didn’t understand why the teachers treated her the way that they did, and Nadia couldn’t understand it either. When she took her medication, she felt fine – but for some reason, her teachers thought she was anything but.

Tired of all the special treatment, Nadia stopped taking her medication, hoping that everyone would treat her like a normal person again. Once Nadia’s mother realized what her daughter was doing, she brought Nadia to Alive Medical Services (AMS) for counselling. Day after day, Nadia sat with the counsellors, and they spoke to her about good adherence and living positively. Soon after, Nadia began engaging with the Victor’s Club, AMS’ youth program for adolescents living with HIV.

“When I got to secondary level, I started to let it go,” Nadia said. “I thought to myself: I have HIV. That can’t be changed. And I can live with that.”

In time, Nadia began singing, dancing, and making friends at Victor’s Club. This past summer, AMS staff trained Nadia to become a youth peer educator, giving her the skills to counsel other youth living with HIV, and refer them to the clinic for treatment. Thanks to your support for AMS' youth program, girls and boys like Nadia have found a space they feel comfortable, helping them work through their diagnosis with peers and friends.

Now 18, Nadia hopes to attend university next year. Eventually, she hopes to become a counsellor for HIV-positive children herself.

“I want HIV-positive children to know that living a positive life is not that hard,” Nadia said. “You can live beyond other people’s expectations. You can achieve what others can achieve, and more. It’s important not to be afraid.”

Your generosity has not only helped our youth program thrive - it's impacted our other areas of focus as well. Ever since school let out, Nadia has spent her days volunteering at AMS. She helps measure the weight, height, and health status of children at triage, working alongside the nurses and helping whenever she can.

“I want to work with children because they are the future of tomorrow,” Nadia said. “They should know that HIV can’t stop them.”

Thank you so much for your support!

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On September 2, 2017, Alive Medical Services (AMS) hosted a Youth Day for young people in our Victor’s Club program. From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., 120 HIV positive youth came together to learn, listen and socialize, while engaging and empowering each other for psychosocial support. 

“It was an excellent event,” said Lorna, an AMS social worker. “The young people were excited, and everyone participated with a lot of energy.”

Your support of AMS’ microproject, Help 1,000 HIV+ Ugandan Youth Thrive, will allow AMS to continue hosting Youth Days for our clients. Importantly, your generosity will also strengthen our programming at such events, helping youth improve their entrepreneurship skills, access vocational training, and grow their confidence. Such expansion is necessary to keep youth engaged in their treatment, as the challenges of adolescence – coupled with the stigma of HIV – can result in the delaying or halting of medication. 

Saturday’s event began with a session by FINCA bank. Youth were educated on financial literacy and savings mechanisms, and a number of Victor’s Club members opened up bank accounts to begin saving money. The topic was not new to participants; AMS is actively educating youth in both financial literacy and personal finance. The sessions at Youth Day built on such initiatives, while also providing a platform for adolescents to come together and socialize. They played games, danced, and listened to music, providing support to each other and catching up with AMS staff. 

At the next Youth Day, AMS hopes to engage youth in similar presentations to improve their lives and livelihoods. However, it is only through the support of partners like you that AMS is able to deliver such sessions. We are incredibly grateful for your compassion, and we look forward to sharing the ways your generosity will impact our adolescent clients. 

“We want youth to be empowered in all areas of life,” said Linda, another AMS social worker. “These types of presentations are great because they teach useful life skills on relevant and important topics."

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Organization Information

Alive Medical Services

Location: Kampala - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AMSUganda
Project Leader:
Pasquine Ogunsanya
Founder and Executive Director
Kampala, Uganda

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This project is no longer accepting donations.
 

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