Alibori December 2009

Post: Alibori
Dates of Project: February 4-6, 2010

Brief Project Description:

The spread of HIV/AIDS poses problems concerning health as well as development in Benin. In order to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS, the Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) in this Commune, along with the Amour & Vie, “Love & Life,” (A&V) team, have decided to host the Alibori Bike Tour 2010.

The PCVs and A&V team will discuss HIV/AIDS at all 7 public secondary schools (CEGs) in the Commune. The Safety & Security Officer, has approved the bike route. The schedule is as follows:
Day 1: CEG 1 (10am), CEG 2 (3pm),
CEG 3 (5pm)
Day 2: CEG 4 (8am & 10am), CEG 5 (3pm)
Day 3: CEG 6 (10am), CEG 7 (3pm)

At each CEG, the A&V team members will act as the main facilitators and the PCVs will serve as support and help lead small group discussions. The following themes will be discussed:
1. The Immune System
2. The Three Transmission Pathways
3. The Prevention Methods
4. Condom Demonstration
5. Myths, Rumors and Realities

Furthermore, the principal of each CEG has been asked to select 100 students (50 boys and 50 girls) and 10 teachers (5 males and 5 females if possible). The sessions will be divided by gender with all male students and teachers in one classroom and all female students and teachers in another. At the end of the session, each participant will receive a handout of all the information discussed and will brainstorm ideas on how to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in their school and community.

Number of People Involved:

A total of 4 HCNs are directly involved in the project (3 males, 1 female; ages 20-30), which includes the 3 members of the A&V team as well as the driver of the chase vehicle.

A total of 11 PCVs from the Alibori will participate in the Bike Tour (8 females, 3 males; ages 23-26). There is the possibility of recruiting 4 additional PCVs from other regions with a preference for RCH and male PCVs in order to balance the gender distribution.

A total of 800 students (400 males, 400 females; ages 10-18) and 80 teachers (40 males, 40 females; ages 25-50) will directly participate in the sessions. Each CEG has been asked to provide statistics on the school population, which will be included later in the Activity Report.

Budget:
The following is a list of other resources outside of the GSP fund:
- Contributions from the mayor of the commune, the director of the radio station, and the president of the cotton union will cover costs for food and other miscellaneous expenses.
- PSI will provide condoms for the condom demonstrations and brochures on HIV/AIDS.
- Peace Corps will provide bikes and helmets for the A&V team as well as additional bike parts and medical supplies for PCVs.
- Lodging will be provided by PCVs in the Commune.

Item Number Cost
T-shirts 40 40.000 CFA
Wooden penises 10 10.000 CFA
Total Cost 50.000 CFA

Amount Requested: 50.000 CFA

Closing Report

Date(s) of Project: February 4-6, 2010

Brief Description of Project:
In order to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS, the Amour & Vie (Love & Life) team of Gomparou along with Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) discussed HIV/AIDS at the seven public secondary schools (CEGs) in the Commune. The following is the schedule of the Alibori Bike Tour 2010:

Day 1: CEG 1 (10am), CEG 2 (3pm),
CEG 3 (5pm)
Day 2: CEG 4 (8am & 10am), CEG 5 (3pm)
Day 3: CEG 6 (10am), CEG 7 (3pm)

Each session lasted approximately one hour and thirty minutes and covered topics including the immune system, three transmission pathways, prevention methods, condom usage, and myths and realities. The groups were divided by gender and attended by both students and teachers.

Number of People Involved, (including gender and age):
The 3 HCNs (1 female, 2 males; ages 20-30), the A&V team and Felix (the chase car driver), acted as the main facilitators of the sessions.

A total of 13 PCVs primarily from the Alibori region participated in the bike tour (7 females, 6 males; ages 23-32).

The table below shows the number of student and teacher who directly participated in the HIV/AIDS awareness sessions. Students are between the ages of 10 and 18; teachers are between the ages of 25 and 50.

CEG Boys Girls TOTAL Men Women TOTAL
One 50 51 101 3 0 3
Two 41 44 85 3 1 4
Three 46 49 95 2 0 2
Four 62 67 129 0 0 0
Five 44 41 85 3 0 3
Six 52 51 103 4 2 6
Seven 32 18 50 2 0 2
TOTAL 327 321 648 17 3 20

The next table shows the potential number of students and teachers who could be indirectly affected by the HIV/AIDS awareness sessions.

CEG Boys Girls TOTAL Men Women TOTAL
One 637 261 898 47 0 47
Two 645 331 976 72 5 77
Three 359 216 575 60 3 63
Four 2095 1083 3178 121 6 127
Five 47 49 96 9 1 10
Six 672 373 1045 82 4 86
Seven 400 250 650 41 2 43
TOTAL 4855 2563 7418 432 21 453

What Were the Goals/Objectives of This Project?
The main objective of the bike tour was to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in the seven public CEGs in the commune.

Were Those Goals/Objectives Met?
Yes, the objective was successfully met. Each school organized a group of boys and girls, along with male and female teachers when possible, to participate in the HIV/AIDS awareness sessions. Additionally, each session ended by discussing ways the participants could raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in their schools and they were provided with contact information of other HCNs in the Banikoara Commune who could provide more information and resources concerning HIV/AIDS.

What Were the Strengths of This Project?
The greatest strength of the project was the enthusiasm of the Commune, A&V team and PCVs who collaborated in order to guarantee the success of the project. Even though the bike tour took place during a strike, each CEG ensured the participation of students and teachers. The motivated A&V team members created well-planned lessons for the sessions and the PCVs provided the A&V team with support during the sessions.

In general, the PCVs thought that the project was well organized and had a good schedule. The first day was the most demanding both physically and mentally because we biked about 60km and worked at three different schools. The second day was spent working in the commune seat, which required less bike riding and allowed PCVs to recuperate before finishing another 40km working at two other schools on the third day. We slept at the same houses each night, so PCVs did not have to carry extra luggage on their bikes. Also, the majority of the meals were catered.

What Were the Challenges/Weaknesses of This Project?
The project faced some last minute challenges due to the strike and lack of funding. Some schools were unable to provide the specified number of students and teachers according to grade level as originally stated in the letters addressed to the principal of each CEG. Many students arrived late or did not come since they were not attending classes because of the strike. Also, the male peer educator for the A&V team could not work with us on Day Two because he is a CEG student and had to take exams that were pushed back due to the strike.

We were unable to provide handouts to participants because we only received 100 pamphlets from PSI and there was not enough money left in the budget to create our own brochures. We divided the pamphlets among the CEGs and wrote the main points of the sessions on the chalkboard for the participants to copy.

Also, biking during midday presented the challenges of dehydration and headwind. Plenty of clean drinking water was kept in the chase vehicle and PCVs used lots of sun block provided by the Medical Unit.

Do You Consider This Project Completed: Yes

Budget:
The Mayor donated 50,000F CFA and the Director of the radio station donated 20,000F CFA. The 70,000F CFA was used to cater lunch and dinner for the A&V team and PCVs during the bike tour.

PSI provided 1,000 condoms for demonstration purposes and 100 brochures on HIV/AIDS.

The Peace Corps provided HIV/AIDS image charts, extra wooden phalluses, extra bikes, additional bike parts and medical supplies.

The original budget presented in the GSP proposal changed in order to adapt to the other outside funding sources. Furthermore, each PCV contributed 4,000F CFA to offset additional expenses.

Item Number Cost
Wooden phalluses 10 5.000
Gas (for chase vehicle) 3 days 30.000
Toilet paper 10 2.500
Oatmeal 4 2.600
Lunch (not covered by community contribution) 5 4.000
T-shirts (not covered by community contribution) 6 6.000

Total: 50.100 CFA

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