Many people living with HIV share a sense of loneliness and isolation. Membership in an association is a first step in building a supportive community. EFA International takes this idea one step further by promoting communication and information exchange across community borders through the creation of an HIV+ Youth Network.
As members of the network, associations are connected to other associations through regional activities and network-wide initiatives, including:
- Peer Education Program: Each association in the network selects two members to act as Peer Educators for their group. The Peer Educators are charged with acting as the point people for all educational activities within their association. Once selected, the Peer Educators travel to Maroua for a three-day intensive training with EFA’s regional staff. At the end of the training, the Peer Educators are given a small kit of supplies to use when conducting activities for their association. Each year, the regional office conducts six refresher trainings for the Peer Educators on a variety of topics, both those identified by the Peer Educators themselves, and other topics chosen by EFA staff. Each training focuses on a different theme or set of best practices. Following trainings, the Peer Educators are responsible for distributing the information that they learn to the rest of their association members.
- Network-wide Newsletter: Associations in the network contribute to a network-wide newsletter that shares best practices and lessons learned by individual members and association. By communicating with one another about their successes and challenges, association members can benefit from each other’s experiences and avoid repeating similar problems or mistakes. Read the latest issues (Français).
- Regional Conferences and Trainings: EFA’s regional office occasionally coordinates network-wide conferences or trainings on specific subjects. All associations are encouraged to attend and benefit from the content presented.
- Economic Collaboration: Network associations are also encouraged to work together to augment their individual income-generation activities. As some associations are rural and others are urban, there is tremendous potential for collaboration, thus increasing revenue for all groups involved. Read more.