Cycling for AIDS awareness. AIDS/HIV Testing plus Poetry, Art , Music , Dance & Cultural Sharing. Why? because we are part of an cross country educational event our youth could not have dreamed of being part of. Cycling is an alternative to boredom, crime, drug use, school drop-out, teen pregnancies and risk behavior in general. Health management is integrated into the educational messages and social routine of everyone and stigma is broken down through participation.
Children living with life-limiting illnesses like diabetes, cancer and HIV do not have it easy, especially when they are living in dire poverty. Stigma, shame, bullying, and isolation can result in depression, school drop-out, risk behavior, and delinquency. Engaging children and youth in activities that make them feel included boosts self-esteem and encourages positive behaviors and choices, like staying in school and aiming for a bright future. Parental involvement builds healthy families.
Engaging kids and youth in cycling will be help them become physically healthier, and encourages medication adherence through a positive peer support model. They will gain skills and confidence, which can help avoid the pitfalls of risk behavior like substance abuse, delinquency, risky sexual behavior, and school drop-out. Parents are included, which promotes parental as well as male involvement. The project advances social integration by recruiting volunteers whose lives are more privileged.
Healthy choices lead to better health outcomes. Improved self-esteem that goes with feeling included helps overcome stigma and shame. Staying in care and in school improves educational outcomes and long-term employment prospects. Health promotion messages help prevent the spread of STIs, HIV and prevent teen pregnancy. The project builds leadership capacity and self-efficacy in youth, developing skills so that they build their communities. 30 riders become 60 which grows to 300 change agents