After our successful implementation of linking our Youth HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Program with our support group services for People with HIV/AIDS (PWHAs) - The BUDDIES of Ipoh, we are now seeing the fruits of the harvest.
As identified by Mr Kevin Ryan, Positive Lives UK for Levi Strauss Foundation:
“A youth orientated scheme to raise general awareness and to encourage young people to become actively involved in education and support services,”
It is a well-targeted programme and the use of PWHAs to lead discussions and to talk about Positive Lives stories and how they relate to the local situation was a major step in achieving the aims of the programme.
Indeed, our InteYo Club young members have not only benefited but are encouraged to do their part in giving what they have to be of service to PWHAs. Our young people have made the commitment to help to sew teddy bears called Buddy Bear, a sub-project under The BUDDIES of Ipoh. The Buddy Bears are to be given to children infected with HIV/AIDS with the aim of bringing them cheer and comfort.
On 5th July 2003, InteYo Club became part of the Buddy Bear Project making team when it formally had a session with The BUDDIES of Ipoh. The once-a-month activity forms the linkage bridge whereby young people can exercise what they have learned and put it into practice. It is a "good" way to desensitise and "tear down" the stigmatisation and discrimination barrier - "the invisible wall" - moving towards reconciliation in the society.
This worthwhile activity is being appreciatively and excitedly promoted by the InteYo Club members, extending to other youth clubs/societies based in schools. Our young people have motivated 70 students of a local school in Ipoh to join them in this venture. We hope that the passion in the young people to assume social responsibility will continue to be kept ablaze.