The Arusha Times

Issue 00540

October 18- 24, 2008

issn 0856 - 9135 

Health

Peace House students receive new knowledge

By Jenaya Rockman

Last Saturday students at Peace House Secondary School gathered to celebrate the completion of an HIV/AIDS, health, and life skills workshop conducted by volunteers from Global Service Corps (GSC). Five volunteers from abroad along with four Tanzanian counterparts spent the week teaching ninety pre-form I students about HIV prevention, health, and life skills. When asked what he learned, Samwel Lemburis answered “I learned how to protect myself from HIV/AIDS infection and I liked the bridge model that shows how knowledge and skills can create healthy behavior.” GSC’s program uses interactive teaching methods such as games, role plays, and discussion to educate youth in HIV transmission and prevention, relationship, decision-making, and communication skills, nutrition, and decreasing stigma and discrimination. GSC volunteer Becky Preusser from Ohio said “Peace House is a perfect environment to teach in because of a combination of students’ willingness and excitement to learn. Also the staff and administration’s commitment to learning is undeniable and evident. All of these factors made this week enjoyable and really facilitated our efforts as educators to spread HIV/AIDS awareness and knowledge.” In addition to receiving health education the students also had the opportunity to interact with the volunteers and learn more about their home countries.

The week of workshops culminated with a graduation ceremony which was attended by all Peace House students and many faculty members. The guest of honor was Erick Donasian, a graduate of Arusha Secondary School, who attended a GSC HIV/AIDS workshop in 2002 and who is still involved in HIV/AIDS education for youth. He encouraged the students that they can make a difference and should continue spreading the word to fellow students. At the ceremony the students also presented dramas and songs which they created throughout the week to highlight what they learned. Four students opened the ceremony with a song encouraging their fellow students to resist peer pressure and avoid unprotected sexual intercourse. A drama later told of a young girl who skipped tuition to be with her boyfriend and ended up pregnant, warning that irresponsible decisions can lead to negative consequences. Form I and pre-form I students also presented a display of their acrobatic skills. The ceremony ended with closing words from Walter Elipokea, “Thank you for what you have taught us. Through what you all have taught us we promise you that we are going to use the knowledge in our lives and pass it on to other people.”

The goal of Global Service Corps’ programs in schools is to equip students with both knowledge and skills needed to live a healthy and HIV free life. Student leaders are then trained in peer education techniques so they can then go on to train fellow students. Twenty four Peace House pre-form I students also attended a week-long Peer Educator Training Workshop which equips them with skills needed to run a health club in their school. Since 2001, GSC has worked to bring HIV, health, and life skills education to 20 secondary schools in the Arusha area. For more information on Global Service Corps’ programs go to www.globalservicecorps.org.

Peace House Secondary School is dedicated to providing quality education to disadvantaged students and currently has over 200 students enrolled in form I and pre-form I. For more information on Peace House check out www.peacehousefoundation.org.


 

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