Connecting local responses around the world
This was told to me by Ms. Charkaporn Pandontong of Ta Wang Tan in Ta Tum Sub-district, Pa Sang District, Lamphun, Thailand:
"When we did the Self Assessment 2 years ago, we found that for practices 1 and 3 (the first one about raising awareness and the third one is about linking care and prevention) our score was rather low. In the analysis we thought that this was because in the last few years we had focused so much on supporting HIV/AIDS groups and so we had not done much on this prevention part. So we realised that this was an area in which we had to improve.
So we discussed what target group we had to work on in order to promote prevention. And then we found that in fact it was the young people that were at high risk. For example, we looked at statistics and found that there were a lot of teen pregnancies. So we thought that it was important to raise awareness and provide understanding and knowledge about HIV/AIDS prevention for the young people. But at the same time in our analysis, we realised that it was too late to tackle the young people who were already sexually active. So we had to go beyond that. We have to start early before these children start to have sex. So we decided to focus on the school children in Grade 6 of primary education.
And we thought that if we just give them information about HIV/AIDS that is not enough. It has to be integrated and include other issues that pre-teens needed to know. So we talked about the news, we talked about becoming teenagers, to prepare them to have better life skills so that we can better manage our lives when we are becoming teens. And we thought it was not enough just to talk with the young people, we had to talk with the parents because it had been our approach to tackle the family as a unit. And we had always believed that if the family is closely knit, if it is a warm and loving family, then that will protect the young people of the family from these behaviours.
So we decided to do a project proposal to organise a workshop involving the parents and the children together to help to prepare the pre-teens to become quality teenagers. Because we did not have enough budget we talked with the temple and the monk provided more budget because the temple has some kind of budget earmarked for promoting morals among young people in the community. So they matched the funds and organised the workshop.
And we did an evaluation with the parents and the children and the people were highly satisfied. It was almost 100% satisfied. And we did the workshop twice in fact. And there were still requests from families that would like to have a third one going. After we did this workshop, then in later Self Assessments, the community agreed that we were doing much better in this practice. So our score jumped in this practice in subsequent Self Assessments. So now we are looking forward to organising a similar workshop.
When we repeat our Self Assessment, we measure our progress.