Activities from these last months in the HIV project consisted of a campaign in Mpare Cell Anti AIDS youth clubs where we demonstrated how to use preventive measures against HIV/AIDS, such as condoms, and encouraged them not to be ashamed of talking about it in public, as this helps a lot in increasing awareness in the population. This goes together with the workshop given to youth to empower Gender and HIV Prevention through adolescent behavior change.
Afterwards, we joined the whole world in conducting the 32nd Candlelight Memorial March under the theme “SUPPORTING THE FUTURE OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV”. The purpose of the day was to try to address the ignorance about Candlelight Memorial Day in our community, and so a diverse group of community leaders including community health workers, researchers, business people, faith and organization leaders and concerned individuals took part in a one hour march in Huye Town and were urged to take part in HIV awareness and stigma eradication in HIV victims according to the annual theme.
The participants were about 100 people including members of 3 of the youth Anti-HIV Clubs that work with RVCP, secondary schools students, RVCP volunteers, and local leaders from Huye district and Ngoma sector.
Indirectly, the message of the day reached approximately 4000 people, mostly youth of the Huye and Gisagara district and finally the whole country as we used the National Broadcasting Agency RBA (Rwanda Broadcasting Agency), RC Huye, and private ones like Radio Salus and an online journal www.igihe.com.
To conclude, Ms. Séraphine, the coordinator of People Living With HIV Association in the Southern Province, who has been living with HIV for 25 years, gave her personal testimony on how living with HIV is now quite different from living hopelessly like it was before. She highlighted some methods that lead to her better future when living with HIV like abstinence post exposure, complete diet, avoidance of stress and, more usefully, joining income generating associations.
There is still a way to go in terms of HIV/AIDS Awareness especially in youth that why we thank everyone who is still willing to continue this war of fighting against HIV.
Candlelight memorial march
Condom Use Demonstration
Entertainment with youth after teaching session
Workshop with the Youth