Happy new year 2014 ! Hope your new year has gotten off to a great start..
Here is a brief on what has been going on at Knowledge for Children.
This Fall has been a very productive time for the Knowledge for Children Health Program. Since submission of the last report, we successfully launched our Alumni Network by conducting two youth camps covering six of our communities around Kumbo. We also had a great World AIDS Day event with fourteen of our schools in Ndu. All events were well received and we look forward to continuing and expanding on these projects in the coming year.
Last year, Knowledge for Children became interested in creating an Alumni Network of former Health Scouts that are now attending secondary school. Health Scouts face increased health risks as they enter secondary school, particularly in regard to sexual health risks (i.e. HIV exposure and pregnancy). We would like to continue to support Health Scouts as they go through the transition from childhood into adulthood in order to ensure maximum impact of the principles taught in primary school. Additionally, we would like to build leadership skills among secondary students by having older students mentor current Health Scouts and support coordinators in their efforts to run the Health Clubs in primary schools.
In order to achieve these goals, we worked with six communities in the Kumbo area to conduct two youth camps that trained graduated Health Scouts on leadership and communication skills, decision-making, resisting peer pressure, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, and planning for the future. We were able to successfully utilize the six Community Health Club Coordinators that were instituted this summer to organize the camp logistics and select students to attend. The camps were conducted over a period of three days each in the first and second week of October. Approximately 80 students benefited from the camp and used bananas to effectively demonstrate the proper use of a condom, as well as show improved knowledge about sexual reproductive health and HIV. At the end of the camp, each student pledged to be a youth leader in their community and volunteer at their local primary school.
Our second project for the first part of the school year, the World AIDS Day program, was equally successful. Fourteen of our Health Clubs in the Donga-Mantung and Nkum Divisions attended an event in Ndu. The Lord Mayor and a representative of the Divisional Officer, as well as the Delegate of Youth Affairs, attended and showed a great deal of support for their community. We also partnered with the District Medical Office and the Community Baptist Health Center to provide 136 HIV tests to community members and distribute 900 condoms to at-risk community members.
Additionally, approximately 140 of our students participated in a parade through the town, advertising free HIV testing and sensitizing the community about the realities of HIV/AIDS. We also sent health workers and students into the market to conduct sensitization and outreach. Lastly, each school presented skits and poems about combating HIV/AIDS through reducing stigma, supporting people living with HIV/AIDS, promoting testing and treatment, and dispelling myths. All participants seemed to enjoy the event and we are very proud of the work we accomplished.
This December, we will follow up on the success of our youth camps by meeting with the Health Club Coordinators in the six communities to record the volunteer work done by attendees. In 2014, we will create a plan to expand the youth camps to the remaining 34 schools in our program. We also hope to host a training that will empower the Community Health Club Coordinators to conduct youth camps independently. We also have plans to conduct a Sanitation and Hygiene Program with our Health Clubs. We will be working with the communities and donors to improve latrines and create hand-washing stations at each of our 40 schools. With your continued support, we hope to be able to significantly impact the rate of water- and food-borne illness in our schools.
We will endlessly continue to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have and are still giving their financial and moral support to help us bring more healthy habits to primary school children so as to create an HIV Free Generation in the North West Region of Cameroon. Please tell us what you think, any advice or suggestions are welcome!
Once again happy new year and bestwishes!
Peace Corps Volunteer
Knowledge for Children Cameroon
Save Earth ,think about the future! lets care for our environment!
And that which the Lord does many then do whose eyes are always on thier Lord.