AAEO
African Aids Education Organization
 

 
 
We need a deep social revolution that will give power to women it is only when women can speak up, and have a full say in decisions affecting their lives, that they will be able to truly protect themselves and their children against HIV."
Koffi Annan

HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa has reached pandemic proportions, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Daily 8,500 contract HIV/AIDS and 6,300 people die from AIDS.  Children in Sub-Saharan Africa account for 12.3 million of the 15 million children under 18 who have been orphaned by AIDS worldwide.

So often, whole families die from AIDS leaving the children orphaned and fending for themselves on the streets.  Cultural stigmas and lack of education continue the problem. Often HIV/AIDS is thought to be a Western disease that Africans cannot catch or is thought to be caused by a spell from a neighboring village. Yet, over and over, the people in the rural areas are requesting the basic information and education  they need to keep their families safe and healthy.  Mothers and fathers want to protect their children and lead healthy and productive lives.

AAEO, AFRICAN AIDS EDUCATION ORGANIZATION, empowers people by bringing basic health education to those rural villages and communities in Tanzania, Africa.  AAEOs purpose is to provide the people of these communities with lifesaving health information, focusing initially on microbial infection, and to prepare them for, and increase receptivity and compliance with, established means of HIV/AIDS prevention, testing and treatment. AAEO brings HIV/AIDS information to those who otherwise would not get it, and delivers it in a way that is culturally sensitive and easy to understand. 

HOW AAEO WORKS

AAEO understands that for the education to be effective it must be taught in a culturally sensitive, easily understood way by local trainers. Local educators train men and women from each village to become community health trainers.  After training, they return to their villages where they can share the information they have learned with their neighbors.  In this way, the education is taught in their own language from someone they trust and is more easily understood. The teaching is done through classes and one-on-one contact in the villages and the surrounding area.

Many of the village people have had little or no schooling, so it is vital to begin with very basic anatomy and physiology, nutrition and communication skills before moving on to microbial infection. 

AAEO has many benefits to the community:

  • HIV/AIDS education reaches deeply into the areas where it is most needed

  • The trainers are empowered by their new knowledge to help others; to make positive decisions about their bodies to protect themselves; and be role models to other men and women in the village.

  • People who are ill or at risk can be identified and offered resources.

  • Health education serves as a paving ground for treatment and/or medication acceptance when it becomes available.

  • Working at the local level assures the acceptance and sustainability of the project. 

  • The people in the villages have someone they trust to answer their questions and help them with disease management and prevention.

  • The village men also have access to information regarding microbial infection and the cultural practices that increase sexual transmission of the HIV/AIDS.

  • Open communication about sensitive issues and about the disease itself by the community health educators, with the aid of the village leaders, helps dispel and fight the stigma that is causing so much discrimination and denial.

AAEO relies on funding to get information getting to the people who desperately need it.
Any amount is welcome.

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