HIV/AIDS Training & Community Awareness
Unfortunately, although HIV/AIDS education is included in the national curriculum it is not taught, since its is not an examinable subject, teachers lack sufficient knowledge and teaching skills and have little or no access to HIV/AIDS resource materials. Consequently, high-risk sexual behaviour remains commonplace amongst school pupils . Furthermore, girls are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS since they are forced to drop out of school to take care of sick relatives and to head their families once their parents or guardians die.
HIV/AIDS Outreach Services
Given the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS, it is essential to develop an integrated approach - one which not only delivers effective HIV/AIDS preventive education within vulnerable communities as a whole, but also addresses both the immediate and longer-term needs of people currently infected or directly affected by HIV/AIDS through the direct provision of services.
At present, PKL’s HIV/AIDS project only targets 120 families (direct beneficiaries whose children were enrolled in the rehabilitation centre) and is limited to the provision of monthly food supplements , essential household items, counselling and medical referral. In light of the fact that roughly 35% of the families currently assisted by PKL have an immediate family member who has already died of AIDS or is known to be HIV positive and the fact that other NGOs working in the field of HIV/AIDS are completely overwhelmed with cases, PKL now plans to greatly expand its delivery of HIV/AIDS outreach services.
Through this pilot project, PKL will specifically target the residents of Village 10 in Mathare slum in Nairobi and Kiandutu slum in Thika (a rural town approximately 30km northeast of Nairobi). These two locations were selected on account of the fact that PKL has already developed strong ties with both these communities through its street girl’s rehabilitation project, in addition to the fact that there are few or no other service providers . Under the overall guidance and supervision of PKL’s Senior Social Worker, a total of 10 trained CBWs will provide a combination of practical interventions, designed to meet both the immediate needs of people suffering from HIV/AIDS, whilst building their capacity and that of local communities to better respond to and provide sustainable solutions to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. PKL will implement this project component through CBWs rather than Social Workers, as it will provide an ideal opportunity for PKL to operate a full-time, “on-the-ground” presence within the slums in a very cost-effective manner (the CBWs will receive a moderate monthly stipend).