Today I began a training for 15 new Peer Educators within our HIV and AIDS education and awareness programme. And already, I note the difference this process has made in the very way I approach the training, the language I am using, and more importantly - how I view and interact with the potential PEs.

It occurred to me....that this is an excellent way of spreading the SALT message: Lets teach our YOUTH. Who better to make this investment in? We have seen and acknowledged what a challenge it is to change the adults - who are set in their ways....consider the Youth; who are such an integral part of our today...and certainly our leaders of tomorrow.

YOUTH are the Agents of Change!

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Comment by Njoh Angwi Constance on February 18, 2010 at 4:15pm
Hi Ashanta,
This is interesting. I share the same experience with you. Before , attendance in our school health club meetings were very scanty. Then we decided to choose and delegate peers for each class and we call them 'ambassadors'. This has worked like magic. The turnout has more doubled and information about HIV/AIDS is spreading like wild fire. The youths have their potentials and until they are ignited, you wouldn't know they can burn
Comment by Laurence Gilliot on February 8, 2010 at 2:51pm
Hi Ashanta,

Thanks for sharing! Having a first SALT experience is like a pebble in the water, it ripples off to all kind of places and areas :-) I'm so happy to read that it is useful for you and for the young people you work with.

I still remember when talking with Toussaint from DR-Congo who explained to me how he changed the way he does 'prevention'. He used to go to the community and give them all the info, then leave some time for questions. Now, he facilitates the discussion. He stimulates them by showing them their strengths and potential. He helps them to do their self-assessment. If people ask for more information about HIV, he can then give it. But the starting point is different. He said that before people thought: "HIV, that is Toussaints business." Now they see that it is everyone's business. You can see Toussaint's video (en french) here: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/video/transformation-des-pairs

Take care

Laurence
Comment by Usa Duongsaa on February 6, 2010 at 8:38am
Dear Ashanta,

So glad to hear that you already started to apply SALT in your work and that you already noted the difference the process had made. This is so inspiring! I'm sure the new peer educators will love to be really listened to, to be appreciated, to be stimulated and supported, and to be treated as members of your team. Please continue to share with us how you practice and what you learn from the experience, so that we can all learn with you.

And yes indeed, YOUTH are the Agents of Change, and so is each and everyone of us!

Usa

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