Our school programme for HIV/AIDS education is a big hit with the children. We mix information with drama and music in a dynamic, fast-moving programme, which involves a lot of interaction with the students. We offer an added dimension, with lessons on how Jesus might react to someone who is HIV positive and we end each programme by praying with the students. We also run a competition for the best essay/written reaction, which enhances attentiveness and also reinforces what they have learned. Thanks to a local businessman, we are able to give watches to the winners of the competition in each school.
So far the Family Africa has reached over 20,000 students in schools (both primary and secondary) throughout South Africa and Namibia. We are able to present a dramatic and interactive awareness programme, coupled with a strong message to counter the stigma attached to HIV. We receive extremely good reactions to the programmes from teachers and students alike. One teacher said, "Your programme relates very well to the children in this school who all come from the local squatter camp. It covers the issues and challenges they face in their everyday lives. Thank you so much!"
Here are a few quotations from written reactions from the students:
- “I have learned that God loves you and me, and if you are HIV positive, you must not feel like no one cares about you and that is not right. What is right is that God loves you, and you are not alone and you will always have someone to care about you. Also, that if you are HIV positive you must eat healthy food, exercise, and have rest.”
- “We enjoyed today very much. At first, when people talk about HIV/AIDS, I was shocked, afraid. I was feeling like I’m lonely. But from today you teach me more things about HIV/AIDS, and I totally understand it. Your story was talking to us. I wish you would come to our community and talk with the youth about this because most children are getting pregnant and are getting infected with HIV.”
Originally Published in 2008.