Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth

by Education Fights AIDS Cameroon
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Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Providing HIV services to 20,000 Cameroonian youth
Campaign "Lutte Contra la Stigmatisation"
Campaign "Lutte Contra la Stigmatisation"

Bonus Day is today, and we want you to help keep our Peer Educators “rolling!”  $99 won’t “brake” the bank but will “steer” Peer Educators out to remote villages which rarely benefit from HIV education and outreach.  It takes many hours (sometimes an overnight trip) for Peer Educators to walk out and back - but with a bike they can visit several villages in just a few hours, sharing important information about HIV/AIDS prevention to hundreds of people who otherwise wouldn't benefit from the education.  Empower a Peer Educator with a bike and you’re breaking the “cycle” of HIV/AIDS in Cameroon!

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Bonjour les amis

J'ai le plaisir de vous partager le rapport annuel 2011 d'EFA International en francais. Merci a tous ceux qui ont contribué à l'excellent travail et le succès continu de l'EFA International. Nous vous remercions de votre soutien continu. Bientôt, nous allons poster quelques vidéos afin que vous puissiez voir et entendre l'impact positif de votre soutien auprès des membres du réseau Youth Empowerment eux-mêmes. Eux et nous, vous remercie de votre soutien continu. 

Bonne année 2013!


Hello friends,

I am pleased to share with you the 2011 Annual Report of EFA International in French. Thank you to all those who contributed to the excellent work and continued success of EFA International. Soon we will post some videos so you can see and hear the impact of your support from members of the Youth Empowerment Network themselves.  They, and we, thank you for your continued support.


Happy New Year 2013!


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For over half a decade, EFA International has responded to its mission of promoting the successful future of young men and women who are touched by HIV. We are grateful to donors like you for the financial support that has enabled recent successes in our three core program areas:

  • 9 HIV-positive associations throughout the Far North of Cameroon received professional skills support.
  • 38 new peer educators were trained in HIV prevention education and community mobilization.
  • 8,000 community members were reached by 50 peer educators trained in sexual and gender-based violence prevention and gender equality through a TrustAfrica grant.
  • 18,600 men, women, and youth received prevention education messages during 129 outreach sessions in communities vulnerable to HIV and AIDS due to low levels of education, socioeconomic status, and gender dynamics.

  • Helped EFA-supported associations conduct profitable and productive income generating activities, with funding through the UNDP.
  • Supported Circle of Love, a program for vulnerable HIV-positive women to cover costs and improve access to necessary medical diagnostics related to their HIV status.
  • Worked closely with the regional directorate of the Ministry of Health, where EFA-supported associations are building partnerships with local health centers to ensure the quality and continuum of care provided to people living with HIV/AIDS.

 

  • Our technical assistants supported new associations to better manage their activities and guided their integration into the Youth Empowerment Network.
  • Our Coordination Committee continued to serve as an important advocacy and exchange forum for young people living with HIV in the region.
  • Our Youth Empowerment Network expanded across Northern Cameroon with 4 new groups established or in training in 2011.

 

Peer educators

 

Annual Report

Download the 2011 Annual Report (PDF) to learn more about EFA's recent accomplishments, including:

  • Building capacity and professional skills for youth associations
  • Expanding HIV peer education
  • Reaching out to communities
  • Income generating activities
  • Creating a multimedia resource center

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On Tuesday’s plenary session at the International AIDS Conference, Phil Wilson of the Black AIDS Institute talked about the need for an “army of patient navigators,” people who provide the critical connection between HIV-affected individuals and life-saving health and social services.

As a Peace Corps volunteer working in Northern Cameroon, I came to know a timid collection of youth who believed that their HIV diagnosis was a death sentence. In addition to facing the stigma surrounding HIV, they must overcome the burdens of poverty, limited literacy, and in most cases being a woman in a conservatively Muslim society.  

Under the shade of a neem tree, they questioned the possibility of their dreams. How long could they live? Should they invest in going to school? Could they ever hope to have a family someday?

Antoinette, shy and tall, spoke of how her husband accused her of bringing HIV to their marriage and abandoned her.

Yaya had been left to die in an isolated room of his family’s compound because his family did not know about life-saving drugs.

Aïssatou is a widow and mother of three, struggling to provide for her children. 

Six years later: through education and empowerment, these young people and dozens more like them have been transformed into dynamic, awe-inspiring front line health workers!  

Peer educators Katerine, Aïssatou, and Doudou support their communities and each other in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Maroua, CameroonFirst, they gained the knowledge to manage their own health and live positively. Then, they received a comprehensive HIV peer education training, and became armed with communication and leadership skills to educate others in their communities about HIV and AIDS. 

Now these HIV-positive young people reach out to the most vulnerable in their communities. They are uniting in solidarity to face down stigma and providing home-based care as well as psychosocial and financial support to HIV-affected families. They are partnering with the Ministry of Health’s regional directorate and district-level health facilities to ensure that people living with HIV have good relationships with the doctors and nurses there in order to access higher quality preventive care, CD4 tests, and ARVs.  
 
Antoinette recently gave birth to an HIV-negative baby and works as a social worker to ensure that HIV-affected families access the government’s social protection programs. 

Yaya is now on ARVs and has been trained in gender-based violence. He works with men to consider their role in negotiating sexual partnerships and condom use to prevent HIV transmission.   

Aïssatou can now pay for her children to attend school because she is healthy. She was awarded a scholarship from UNFPA and promotes prevention of mother-to-child transmission in her community.  She also travels over bumpy roads to the border town of Kousseri to train sex workers on how to get tested and become peer educators and promoters of safe sex. 

These peer educators are the missing link between communities and health care services. They are cost-effective and they promote social accountability. As so eloquently stated by the speakers at Tuesday’s session on health workers, these armies of patient navigators, peer educators, and front line health workers will play a key role in turning the tide on the AIDS epidemic.  
 
Full disclosure: I am the chair of the Board of Directors for Education Fights AIDS (EFA) International, the organization that provides the capacity-building services described.

Photo 1 courtesy of Rachel Deussom. Photo 2: Peer educators Katerine, Aïssatou, and Doudou support their communities and each other in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Maroua, Cameroon. © Rachel Hoy Deussom/EFA International

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Alim, Peer Education Training of Trainers, 2012
Alim, Peer Education Training of Trainers, 2012

June 27th is National HIV Testing Day in the United States.

Too many people don't know they have HIV. According to the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, nearly 1.2 million people are living with HIV, and almost one in five don't know they are infected. This means that they are more likely to unknowingly pass HIV to others.

Getting tested is the first step to living a healthier life. If you have HIV, getting medical care and taking medicines regularly helps you live a longer, healthier life and also lowers the chances of passing HIV on to others.

The message for achieving an HIV-generation remains the same, whether in America, Africa or anywhere else in the world: "Take the test, take control."

This is exactly the message that EFA's peer educators are sharing throughout Northern Cameroon. We are striving to make sure that this message reaches everyone by increasing access to our HIV prevention peer education program. Since our Training of Trainers sessions in early 2012, EFA's Regional Office has consolidated the training modules so that they can be taught to all 150+ members of the EFA Youth Empowerment Network over the coming years. They will in turn be empowered with accurate information that is key for all community members, especially young people, to take charge of their lives by taking an HIV test. 

The need for HIV prevention information in communities throughout Northern Cameroon is so high. EFA's technical assistants and peer educators are working very hard to meet this demand, but require additional resources to get the job done. 

Consider supporting EFA's peer education program so that we may achieve an HIV-free generation. It starts with knowing that you have to "take the test to take control!"

Pelehem, EFA Technical Assistant, 2012
Pelehem, EFA Technical Assistant, 2012

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Organization Information

Education Fights AIDS Cameroon

Location: Maroua - Cameroon
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Alim Ousmanou
Maroua, Extreme North Province Cameroon
$73,590 raised of $90,000 goal
 
1,050 donations
$16,410 to go
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