TAG = "HIV"
Training cum Forum session with 4 HIV+ personals- 18/04/2011
Date: 18/04/2011 Location; MangShi CDC Health activity centre Personals: 4 HIV+ personal
We have come to the forth years of our Aids prevention programme at MangShi, as time progresses, we do achieve significant results though without any statistical data support. But by empirical observation from the streets at MangShi, the CDC officers do observe that there is a significant decrease in number of sex workers coming from the poor villages. I believe that this is the efforts that we have done for the past few years, going villages to villages advocating the prevention and harm of Aids. The main factors that caused such changes are that the young girls at the villages have:
1) More knowledge of Aids prevention and its harms than before.
2) By the society pressures within the community in the villages, they are refraining from being sex workers, as they become more aware of Aids prevention knowledge.
We also started home visit for Aids patients last year, selecting the group that are living below the poverty line. We have befriended them and hoped that they can help us to propagate the knowledge of Aids prevention within their own peers. We also help them by giving rice and cooking oil to them, easing their burdens in life of their basic needs.
We continue working with the peers this year, having forum with them sometimes. We begin this year with a forum session on 18th April, 2011, inviting guests of honor from Singapore to join us.
During the session, we introduced the guests from Singapore to the group; they are Mr.Yee, a Government officer working in the Ministry of Health at Singapore, and Simon, a volunteer helping the church at Ho Chin Min city.
Ms Lee, CDC officer, briefed the guests the Aids situation at MangShi, introducing on the topics of the CDC roles of Aids prevention, how Aids are spread at MangShi, the present situation of the Government policies in helping the Aids patient, and what Aron and I have done for the past few years. They show much appreciation to us.
We also have Ah Chen inviting 4 Aids peers to our forum session, they are, Ah Rong, Ah Hai, Ah Xia, and Ah Dong, 3 males and 1 female (Ah Xia). All are HIV+ mainly due to drug needles injection while Ah Xia contacted Aids thru’ her boyfriend. They are shy in the beginning with our guests around, but as I tried to let them be at ease and more casual, they began to speak up.
We therefore casually talked about:
1) How they felt when they first know that they contacting Aids, what a dark days for them at that time, knowing life is hopeless and in despairs. They then also shared with us how they slowly accepted the truth knowing life still have to go on. We encouraged them and advised them to make full use of their life to help others within their means, making life more meaningful.
2) The despair that they still face is the prejudices against them in the main stream society, causing them difficult to find jobs. I advise them that the view of society cannot be changed overnight, I cited example of myself that I slowly changed my perception after knowing them, and also after acquiring more knowledge of Aids prevention, before that I don’t even dare to shake their hands.
3) Mr.Yee also encouraged them to be more positive in life, knowing that Aron is trying to set up a micro fund to help them to set up an Advertising company, which is a great help. The CDC staffs also support the ideas.
We talked and exchanged ideas till 5PM, and then we have our guest of honor, Mr.Yee, to give presents to them, a 25KG of rice and a bottle of cooking oil. After the session, Mr.Yee and Simon felt that it is an eye-opening experience for them, knowing the ground work of what we have done with the CDC. It is really a good concept and idea.
In order for the peers to be more independent in training on their own peers. Ah Chen, who has been helping us on the previous sessions, planned and arranged for this particular session himself under the supervision of CDC and I.
Date: 10/12/2010 Location: MangShi CDC Health activity centre Personals: 4 families HIV+ personals
Ah Chen invited 4 families HIV+ victims for his training session held at the CDC Health Activity Centre. Ah Chen’s mission is to help and care for the HIV+ peers, teaching and encouraging them to have positive altitudes toward relationship with others in the society, have courage to face their own diseases and walk out of the dark shadows that held in their hearts.
Among the HIV+ peers, Ah Yan was invited for this training session. Ah Yan is an orphan who both of his parents’ lives was taken away by AIDS 20 years ago. Without his parents, he was cared by his relatives. He is now 24 years old, and because of his unfortunate events in life. He chooses to keep to himself, he talks less and unsociable. Ah Chen understands how Ah Yan feels, as he has gone through the same experience himself. So, Ah Chen has patience with him, give him encouragements, and try to help him gain confidence in life.
Besides Ah Yan, a couple both with HIV+ were also invited for this training session. Training and lesson about Aids were taught to them, mainly comprised about what precautions married couples should aware of, the Government incentives for HIV+ victims and medication.
After doing 3 training sessions on HIV+ victims, the same problem is that they are prejudiced by the main stream society. This phenomenon really has great impacts on them, casting dark shadows in their hearts. It cannot be changed within a short period of time, but need constant communications and educations within the society members. The task ahead is a heavy one; we need perseverance, care and love for the patients in order to achieve our purposes. Gifts were presented to the participants after the training.
After we made home visits with the HIV+ personals from the last session, I have met the CDC’s staffs twice. We discussed our future plans and also the feedbacks of our home visits.
They expressed:Home visit is a right approach, as the funds really go to the persons in need. We achieved personals contacts, making our presence known to the HIV+ personals. The HIV+ personals feel comforted and appreciated that we are caring about them.
Our futures plan will be:To know more of such HIV+ personals and understand more of their predicaments. Making them as agents to help us penetrate into their circles, to educate and prevent further spread of HIV living among their circles. Train them to be well equipped with HIV prevention knowledge, and let them be more independent. Set up a fund that helps them to be independent, giving them hope and helping them to find meaning in life, to be more self dependent.
So, the CDC arranged a forum and training discussion for me to meet 10 HIV+ on 28th OCT. The session was held at the CDC office, meeting room.
On the meeting session:At first, they introduced themselves, and all of them were former drug addicts, now turning into new leaves, but contacted HIV+. They are not employed due to prejudices against them from the main stream society. They are remorseful now, hating themselves for being ignorance while young and have no knowledge of Aids. They were all drugs addicted for more than 10 years, as it is easy to access drugs 15years ago, and the governments didn’t do much on such education then. I expressed that they should use their experiences and their stories to help and prevent any youths that follow their footpaths, and to prevent further spread of HIV among their circles.
Then, they came out with ideas and expressed their thoughts:
They hope that we can set up a start-up funds to help them set out their own business, and be more self reliable, like giving them fishing rods to fish, rather than give them fishes.
Ah Chen, who help us on the previous home visits is well educated and cultured. He has talents of doing works on advertising, such as banners design. So, he hopes to set up an advertising agency and CDC express that they will be his main customer if the agency set up. The CDC needs a lot of promotion banners each year.
Of course with some conditions attached:They can only employ staffs with HIV+. They are required to use the portion of their profits to help the HIV+ personals and educate Aids prevention among their circles.
I said that I need to report their requests to you, and seek your approval. They will like to know you too, saying “Thank you” to you in person. Hopefully we can arrange a barbeque party for you to meet them while you are here next time.
We completed the meetings after about 2 hrs, and as usual and promises, we gave them a packet 10KG of rice and a box of milk for each person. A token for their participation.