Congratulations to EFA’s Peer Educators – Class of 2010! From January to July, these young adults were trained in EFA’s Peer Education Program on HIV prevention, leadership skills, and community mobilization strategies to contribute to the fight against AIDS in Cameroon.
Hear from EFA’s Peer Educators in their own words*:
Hello, I am Mokol. I am a member of the association AJEPS-MO in Mokolo. For me, a Peer Educator is someone who has been trained by EFA and who is capable of informing others about HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. I am honored to represent my association. After each session, I present all that I have learned to the other members of my association. Also, I see my role as someone who is now capable of integrating people who just found out that they are HIV+ into our association. I can assure them that life will go on and that one day they can be a Peer Educator like me! I am happy with my place in life; I hope that the other members of my association follow my example!
Hello! My name is Mamaye. I am a Peer Educator. I am trained to inform my community about the realities of HIV. In the last few months, I have trained almost 1,000 people in my community!
My name is Bibmoi. I am from Godola. I am a trained Peer Educator for EFA and for my association, ASSYSGOD. As a Peer Educator, I inform my community about HIV and AIDS, voluntary HIV testing, prevention tactics and the correct use of condoms. I also spread the word about our association and recruit HIV+ community members to join us. For me, my role as a Peer Educator is to assist the vulnerable children in the community and to bring them moral, social, and physical support. For me, I feel great solidarity within my association.
My name is Mairamou. I am the president of ASSYSGOD, the association in Godola. For me, it is my responsibilities as a Peer Educator to not only take part in the trainings but to faithfully work in my community in the domain of the fight against AIDS. I feel that I must inform my community about the modes of transmission of HIV, methods of prevention, the prevention of the transmission of HIV from a mother to her children and how HIV+ people can live positively. I hope that I can be a model for my community and for the members of my community.
Hi, I’m Salihou. I am a member of ASSYSGOD. For me, a Peer Educator is, first, a member of an association who is trained in the fight against the pandemic of HIV and AIDS. Also, a Peer Educator is one who takes the information he receives and tours the community sharing the information. My greatest work is in encouraging the members of my community to go and get tested for HIV. I counsel them before and after their tests. If the test is positive, I also encourage them to join our association. I also do my best to help vulnerable children in my community. The training has helped me to render my association even stronger! We are even seeing fewer cases of illness within our association!
My name is Moukouba. I am a member of ASSYSGOD. As a Peer Educator, I am to return to my association and transmit to them all that I learned in the training. Afterwards, we inform the community about HIV and AIDS. For me, my association is proud of me and my diploma! I have confidence to go anywhere to do the work of a Peer Educator!
My name is Moumagai. For me, a Peer Educator is someone who helps others come to an understanding about HIV and AIDS. My role now is to inform the members of my community and association about what I have learned.
My name is Danagai, Hello! I have been a member of the AJEPS-Maroua association for 5 years. I am so happy to be a trained Peer Educator!! It is my job to inform the community about HIV and to orient them to the health centers for HIV testing and treatments. I feel that my biggest responsibility is to work within my association: to help the members better understand their illness, accept their HIV+ status, and to live positively.
My name is Yessa. I have been a member of the AWALLA association for 3 years. I was chosen by my association to come and be trained as a Peer Educator. I learned much about how to inform my community and my association about HIV and AIDS. I now have the strength to always work for my community and urge others to accept my advice and counsel.
Hello, my name is Fadimatou. I have been a member of ABEPSA in Maroua for 3 years. For me, the most important aspect of the work of a Peer Educator is the role of counselor that we take on in the community. So many people look to us for guidance! As a Peer Educator, everyone in my community will be well informed about HIV and AIDS.
My name is Soureya. I have been a member of ABEPSA in Maroua for 2 years. I am now the president of the association. A Peer Educator is one who gives information and guidance to others in the community. We contribute to the fight against HIV and AIDS.
* Interviews transcribed from French or Fulfulde into English.
Photo credits: Caitlyn Bradburn, 2010