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
Alim, Country Represenative, presenting new poster
Alim, Country Represenative, presenting new poster

EFA International's associations, Peer Educators, and staff have been busy these last few months! First, we are proud to report that Peer Educator extraordinaire, Pehlem, spent a month in the US as an invitee to the prestigious US State Department's "International Visitor Leadership Program."  She had a fantastic experience and is excited to take what she learned while visiting NGO's, health organizations, and government entities in the US, home to Cameroon to share. Congratulations Pehlem!

Staff and Peer Educators made visits to Yagoua and Moutourwa for community outreach, and gathered for six intensive days of training to refresh their messaging to their communities, and to learn how to incorporate new material into their presentations. We also had a visit from the new Peace Corps Director, Jackie Sasonga!  And Technical Assistant Soureya Oumarou travelled up to Kousseri, on the Chadian border, to visit the AJUBS association to establish an executive committee and to present the new educational posters EFA printed with funds from PEPFAR, VSO, Peace Corps, and YOU! 

The large posterboards were printed as a tool to aid in community presentations - a visual presenation of our health messages intended to make the lessons more impactful for a larger audience.  The messages pertaining to health and HIV/AIDS prevention have already proven to be invaluable!  Alim Ousmanu, Cameroon Country Representative, presented the new materials to Peer Educators from each association who gathered in Maroua for an educational session about how to effectively incorporate the posters into their community outreach. 

Thank you for your continued support. We are together! Nous Sommes Ensemble!

Peer Educators with new health posters
Peer Educators with new health posters
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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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Organization Information

Education Fights AIDS Cameroon

Location: Maroua - Cameroon
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @http://www.facebook.com/CameroonEfa
Project Leader:
Alim Ousmanou
Maroua, Extreme North Province Cameroon
$75,440 raised of $90,000 goal
 
1,080 donations
$14,560 to go
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