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Mothers and daughters learn about HIV in Tanzania
November 7, 2012
Female students in secondary schools represent one of the highest risk groups for new infections of HIV in Tanzania, says Lally. To increase awareness and understanding, Mwangaza has incorporated HIV and AIDS training in its community health programs for over 10 years.
In partnership with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), Mwangaza now trains and supports intergenerational teams of women to lead seminars and be advocates for healthy lifestyles in their schools, churches and communities. Mwangaza is an educational partnership of Evangelical Lutheran Church congregations in Tanzania and the U.S.
Each team consists of 12 women from the same community – six students and two teachers from a Lutheran secondary school and four women from a Lutheran congregation near the school.
Secondary school students Angel Mathew and Dinah John, both 17, represent the Nkoaranga Secondary School on an intergenerational team. Mathew said the training helped her understand how positive and negative peer pressure contributes to the rising incidence of HIV among secondary school students.
For some girls, sexual behavior is a way to obtain fashionable clothes and shoes, says Mathew. “We teach them how HIV is spread and how to avoid the infection. The best way to avoid the infection is to avoid the peer influence and the temptation of having valuable things.”
“It is a good idea because there are information gaps in both generations – it is especially good because we can get information from them (older women).”
Mennonite Central Committee: Relief, development and peace in the name of Christ