Monday, April 23, 2007

Young Women's Christian Association (Success Story)

ECOSOC Roster Consultative Status since 2005


Theme: Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise

Over the years, the YWCA of Nigeria celebrates the World AIDS day. On such days, usually December 1, which is a day set aside by the International Community to reflect and reaffirm commitment to the fight against the menace of HIV and AIDS, the Young Women’s Christian Association carries her campaigns to strategic locations and places. The essence is to curb the menace of Human Immuno Virus and the Deficiency Syndrome in Nigeria.

In the recent time, Nigeria is rated the third country leading in global HIV prevalence rate. With this development, the YWCA of Nigeria and other governmental and Non-Governmental organizations and government agencies intensify efforts to reduce the menace of HIV/AIDS and possibly halt the spread of the Human Immuno deficiency virus in Nigeria. To this regard, YWCA of Nigeria finds the theme: STOP AIDS: KEEP THE PROMISE appropriate.

In preparation for the celebration, the organization approached agencies such as UNAIDS, Global HIV/AIDS Initiative for Nigeria (GHAIN), Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, National AIDS Control Agency (NACA) Family Health International of the USAID, some collaborators / partners for example the STOPAIDS Organisation, for material support. YWCA of Nigeria produced Fliers, Stickers and other materials needed for the programme, arranged vehicle for caravan and public address system, We got Protective materials such as male and female condoms, T-Shirts and face Caps and Campaign posters from some agencies.

Human Resources:
A team of 50 people including staff, National Officers and Young Women were mobilized to carry out the programme. The YWCA also sensitized some media houses of the event. The climax was a courtesy visit paid to a media house situated round the area where the programme was carried out.

The campaign team took of from the YWCA National Head quarters located at # 8, Moloney Street, Lagos and went through Obalende - a highly populated area in Lagos. From Obalende, the caravan moved to highbrow Ikoyi area of Lagos through Victoria Island to Lekki-Ajah -Epe Areas of Lagos. At strategic locations, the caravan stopped and held rally, gave information on HIV and AIDS and distributed Condoms to the people. The Ajah and Epe are suburb areas of Lagos with a teaming population of not well-informed people. Majority of the people in this area of Lagos lack proper knowledge of HIV and AIDS. The YWCA of Nigeria targeted this group, which are mostly market women, school children, motorcycle and bus drivers, and other people at the grass root level of the society.

At various points, the target groups were given sensitization talks in various Nigerian local languages. The essence was to pass on the message across to the grass root. The people were told what the World AIDS day stands for, the meaning of HIV/AIDS, ways of contact, ways of avoidance. Basically the ABC – abstinence, being faithful and use of condom was reiterated.

At the Epe market and motor park, thousands of people were addressed in a rally. The YWCA distributed materials:- fliers, information booklets, stickers, condoms, etc to women, school children who were returning from school, motor park attendants, bus drivers and conductors, motorcycle uses, passers by, etc.

The YWCA’s campaign and rally against the spread of HIV/AIDS on the World AIDS day culminated in a courtesy visit to a nearby media house – the Silver Bird Communications. The media house runs both Television and Radio programmes and specific programmes on HIV/AIDS.
The Staff members of both the radio and Television houses welcomed the YWCA caravan into the premises with excitement.

The team was introduced to the manager on HIV/AIDS programme, who commended YWCA’s activities on HIV/AIDS. After a brief chat, the team was taken to the newsroom. However, the YWCA activity on the World AIDS day was later aired throughout the day on the national Radio and Televisions. The Celebration of World AIDS day was a huge success.

The following were achieved from the programme.

- Sensitization of the populace in the Lagos area of the World AIDS Day.
- Educating the people on the HIV/AIDS prevalence in Nigeria.
- Warning the target audience of the dangers of indiscriminate sex, use of sharp objects, careless blood transfusion, etc
- Debunking the wrong impression people have about positive people
- Advice on where and how to get information, for example test on HIV/AIDS
- Encourage a good number of people to know their HIV/AIDS status.
- Encouraged the people to avail themselves of counseling unit in YWCA building.

The following gains were made:
- Increased establishment of network and partners
- More projection of the YWCA of Nigeria’s programmes on HIV
- More publicity of the organisation
- Increased link with positive individuals.
- A fulfilled campaign project.

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