Project #134 | Empowering HIV+ Adolescents in Kenya
Our partnership with Imarisha
Kenya currently has 1.6 million individuals living with HIV. According to the Nation AIDS Control Council, there are 435,225 adolescents from ages 10 to 19 that are HIV positive while another 119,899 have the virus but are not yet identified. Failure of identification and delayed treatment coupled with the overbearing stigma and discrimination associated with being HIV positive resulted in the death of approximately 7,500 adolescents last year alone. The needs of adolescents living with HIV are much more sensitive and varied than those of adults. They must simultaneously deal with adult issues like disclosure, practicing safe sex, and adhering to treatment while also addressing issues traditionally associated with adolescence, such as body image, peer pressure, and forming personal identity.
We partnered with Imarisha CBO to educate and empower adolescents living with HIV in Nyeri County, Kenya. Imarisha CBO brings new and innovative ways to talk about sex, disclosure, and health needs for HIV positive adolescents that are likely to reduce HIV infections. This specific project promoted sex education in communities and families, starting a conversation about HIV/AIDS and SRHR around young people. The project additionally undertook an empowered entrepreneur training for 22 adolescents, 15 of whom are HIV positive. The trainees formed a coalition among themselves to assist in cascading advocacy efforts, championing for their peers in advocacy forums and conducting mentorship in schools. To reduce stigma and discrimination in schools, Imarisha supported a teacher training program, equipping educators to respond more effectively in their role working with vulnerable children.
Our collective impact
HIV Positive Adolescents Trained
Duke Laurent Mwai was born in neighboring Kirinyaga County 19 years ago but currently living in Nyeri County. Duke is a film student at United States International University-Africa and a youth advocate for young persons living with HIV. Joe has been HIV positive since birth and has been working closely with organizations that fight HIV in Kenya. Duke states that his major achievements in his work on life skills and mentorship support are that he has helped HIV positive youth turn their lives around after mentorship and live more positive lives. Duke has been very influential to the peers, advocating through school clubs and advancing sexual reproductive health and rights for young people living with HIV/AIDS. Duke says additional support to Imarisha will enable the project reach more vulnerable youth and policy makers, thereby improving the quality of life of young people living with HIV.
Thank you for making this possible!
Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.
If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our children’s health fund.