ISSN 1710-6931 August 25, 2006 Issue 80

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HIV/AIDS Seminar Held In Nyarugusu Camp, Tanzania

It was just like a dream when Sandrine Cortet wrote to the New English Center for Hope (NECH) that Logan was coming to run an HIV/AIDS seminar!

In the evening of July 1, 2006, a weekend, Logan, the director of Working to Empower, reached the Catholic mission compound in Makere where he was given accommodation.

At first glance, Logan looks like a young gentleman but in practice and real life, Logan is a man of action who works hard, and is busy because he really knew what he was coming to do.

Logan ate, drank and worked with us! He is the man our community will always miss due to his love and kindness, and his willingness to live with the community which loved him so much.

In Makere, Logan was provided transportation by the leading organization in charge of the camp management, World Vision Tanzania.

While in Nyarugusu, Logan would walk to reach different areas. On Monday July 3, 2006, Logan visited different organizations, officers and schools such as the camp committee, camp security guards, Red Cross, World Vision, College de la Charité as well as the NECH office.

It was planned that Logan would meet with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) management, but unfortunately this did not occur.

The main purpose for the visit in the different areas was to explain to them the essence of his program in Nyarugusu Camp and to find ways to overcome some problems which the program can face in connection with beliefs, faith, culture and religion.

When he was at the Red Cross Compound (the NGO in charge of health), Logan talked to HIV/AIDS counselors about the program. They explained to him the programs run by the Red Cross at the hospital in relation to HIV/AIDS. The main programs were the VCT and the PMTC.

Logan congratulated the counselors by stating that their programs were unique when compared to other programs in different areas he had visited.

On the other hand, Logan commented that maybe the community is not aware of the services run at the hospital. For example, in June only 200 persons were tested. Compared to 59,800 people in the camp the number of tested people is too small.

With regards to World Vision, Logan met with the administrator of the organization. The latter told Logan that previous programs which were run in the camp failed due to the inclusion of young people under the age of 15. The previous programs were not successful in condom distribution because they were distributed to children under 15 who finally used the condoms as children toys.

At the NECH office, Logan met with some volunteers who showed Logan some of their activities. On July 4, 2006, the HIV/AIDS seminar started. In this seminar there were 40 participants of different ages and different sexes. Among them there were five girls and thirty-five boys. The seminar was held over four days and closed with a video show by Gideon Byamugisha.

During the second week, some fifteen participants were given the tasks of teaching the community in different Zones (seven Zones) whereby in each Zone one video was provided. Entertainment-Education was the approach adopted for teaching in the different Zones. This was effective in the sense that the young people in the Zones were coming to watch the music show and through this the participants could teach and send the message about HIV/AIDS.

The following chart provides information on the participants in the various Zones who attended the video show campaigns.

ZONE GIRLS BOYS TOTAL
ZONE I 41 131 172
ZONE II 50 122 172
ZONE III 41 96 137
ZONE IV 49 119 168
ZONE V 36 180 216
ZONE VI 60 123 183
ZONE VII 35 165 165
GRAND TOTAL 1248

Before he left, Logan met with five zone peer educators and made a plan for six months. This team will continue with the campaigns against HIV/AIDS after Logan has left.

NECH also expressed to Logan the educational problem in Nyarugusu Camp in which orphans and female students are vulnerable to lack of education due to the withdrawal of international humanitarian organizations in assisting post-primary education.

With this matter in hand, Logan agreed to implement an education program to assist female and orphan students.

The seminar was closed on Friday, July 14, with a soccer match between the NECH students and SCOUTS. The score was 4 to 2 in favor of SCOUTS.

Million of thanks go to all the people of goodwill who made the program a success. Some of them are:

  • RESPECT International
  • Working To Empower
  • World Vision (Nyarugusu branch)
  • NECH volunteers
  • The Government of Tanzania
  • Refugee community.

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