Day 7 – Community discussion on HIV/Aids

Written by Francois Firket.

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The Thursday morning was really intensive. After breakfast, we started with a workshop on MDG8, “Global Partnership for Development”, during which we learned how development could be achieved trough 3 types of foreign investment (foreign direct investments from companies, transfer from emigrants and development aid).

Then, we went for a new visit to Khayelitsha where, together with a group of volunteers, we participated in a workshop on MDG6. Here we gained plenty of new knowledge about HIV/AIDS infection, causes, prevention and the taboo around the pandemic. The most shocking data was that 30 percent of South Africans is infected with HIV and the statistics are even more drastically high for the youth living in townships. Together with name games and funny songs, the facilitator broke the ice and created a respectful learning atmosphere.

The debate involved discussion on the opportunity to pass a law which could oblige the youth to inform their teachers and parents about their status of HIV infection. It appeared that students would not want to reveal their status as they were afraid to be discriminated, through rejection by their parents and exclusion from school. They referred expressly to the right of choice whether to reveal their status or not. On the contrary, it was mentioned that a law could provide an evolution of the mentality. Whether law can change society or society can change the law, the rule of silence seemed to have a fruitful future in townships.

After the workshop, we visited a VPUU project aiming to prevent violence in Khayelitsha and consequently to improve the quality of life of the residents. VPUU creates partnerships with public sector, private sector and several organization of the civil society to provide residents of the townships with an enriching, active and safe environment.

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More images of the discussions and surroundings:

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