Ayabonga - South Africa
A SERIES OF INTERVIEWS WITH YOUNG PEOPLE FOR WORLD DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION DAY 2013
For World Development Information Day 2013, AVERT interviewed a selection of young people from around the globe, getting them to reflect on the HIV/AIDS development challenges in their country.
As supporters of AVERT’s Get Plugged In campaign, our interviewees are part of a network of well-informed young people, aged 18-25, that explore HIV and AIDS issues in our private Get Plugged In forum.
The UN theme for World Development Information Day, celebrated annually on October 24th, concentrates on: “Improving the dissemination of information and the mobilisation of public opinion, particularly among young people…”
Applying this theme to HIV and AIDS, we asked our Get Plugged In members how technology improves access to HIV/AIDS information and awareness of HIV/AIDS development challenges.
See all interviews below.
Ayabonga's organisation, the Department of Social Responsibility (South Africa), provides HIV awareness through workshops, where people are taught how to tackle HIV. The organisation deals with many types of groups from couples (in the case of violence against women), to young people (in the case of forced marriage, lack of contraception negotiations), as the organisation understands that these development challenges are major contributors to HIV and AIDS. Ayabonga's role is to empower his peers at school, as the majority of them are not part of such organisations or workshops.
My organisation works with young people in a way that we invite young people to the workshops, where one could talk about his or her experiences, we then give counselling and words of comfort. One time we went for a training where we were taught counselling skills so that in return we can go out there and help young people.
The biggest challenge is the matter of forced marriage, as many cultural practitioners believe that it is part of their culture. Also one having to be criminalised because of being HIV positive.
In my point of view it is not very effective saying this because on TV you would hardly see an advert giving awareness of HIV, mostly they often appear when it is the month or week of recognising those who are living with HIV and the ones who have lost their lives because of HIV. As for chat forums, they are not there at all. So effectiveness of technology concerning HIV awareness still needs improvement.
The project would include a Facebook or Twitter account; so that I can empower or address my peers on a day-to-day basis, taking to my advantage the fact young people are very much engaged in social networking.
This piece forms part of a collection of inspiring and insightful interviews. 'Reflections on the Epidemic' , a series of interviews from young people for World Development Information Day 2013, tap into the opinions and perspectives of young people on HIV and AIDS from four regions across the globe.
All opinions expressed in 'Reflections on the Epidemic' do not necessarily represent those of AVERT.