Carter Densmore February 2009

Name: Lindsay Carter, Margaret Densmore
Post: Pobe, Hozin
Date Submitted:
Contact Information: Lindsay cellphone – and/or Meg
Pick up Location: Cotonou
Project Description: HIV/AIDS Bike tour in the Ouémé-Plateau. The objective of the bike tour is to bring HIV/AIDS awareness to those more remote communities in the Ouémé-Plateau region who have not had access to this information. Peace Corps Volunteers (PCV) will be riding the bikes along with Host Country Nationals (HCN) from the Project Panther team (the PSI initiative) in Kétou and Ouémé-Plateau-based health NGO AFAP. AFAP will also be providing a follow-on vehicle for safety and security and HCNs will also be translating into the local languages of Nagot and Gun.
Of the 4 days that we will be on the bikes we will stop at 9 villages to perform sensibilisations, each lasting approximately 2 hours. In the two weeks leading up to the tour these villages and their leaders would have been visited twice, to do publicity for these sensibilisations prior to our arrival. During sensibilisations we will split all those who attend each of the five different age-gender groups: adult men; adult women; young men (15–25 years old); young women (15–25 years old) and children (<15 years old). With a couple of volunteers leading each group we will discuss what HIV/AIDS is, the modes of transmission and the methods of prevention, including a condom demonstration. At each village we will also provide free condoms and materials provided by PSI. Below is a more specific itinerary for how each day will be spent, including the names of the villages where sensibilisations will take place.
Feb 25th Evening : Participants arrive in Sakete and the group goes over the structure and content of the sensibilisations.
Feb 26th Day 1 : Sensibilisation #1 – Sakete AFAP Recuperation Centre
Sensibilisation #2 – Gbekandji
Feb 27th Day 2 : Sensibilisation #3 – Adjohoun
Sensibilisation #4 – Démè
Sensibilisation #5 – Azowlisse
Feb 28th Day 3 : Sensibilisation #6 – Dangbo
Sensibilisation #7 – Misserete
Mar 1st Day 4 : Sensibilisation #8 – Hozin
Sensibilisation #9 – Djigbe

Dates of Project: February 25 – March 1, 2009
Number of People Involved: Tour Participants: 13 PCVs, 2 HCNs (Project Panther team member, AFAP chauffeur both of whom will also be translating). There will be a group of 15 travelling (14 bikes, 1 follow-on vehicle). PCVs will have their own age/gender group in the sensibilisation to teach, HCNs will translate with two additional translators being found in each stop.
Audience Reached: There will be 9 sensibilisations, with a conservative estimate of 30 people (mix of female, male and different ages) attending each sensibilisation. Therefore information on HIV/AIDS, it's modes of transmission, methods of prevention and free condoms/materials provided by PSI will reach an approximate total of 270 people in remote areas. Active recruitment and publicity is intended to maximise this number, so there is the potential for much more.

Item Number Cost
Petrol for follow-on vehicle at 400cfa/ltr Estimated 15litres for all 4 days 6,000cfa
Uniform T-shirts at 1,000cfa each 2 t-shirts per person for 15 people = 30 30,000cfa
Water at 25F a sachet 10sachets (5ltrs) per person per day x 4days x 15people 15,000cfa
Total 51,000 CFA

Amount Requested: 50.000 CFA


GAD Coordinator: This sounds like a pretty standard bike tour. Once again I'm very happy to see that PSL 21 Volunteers are getting so involved so quickly. I know that this project hasn't happened yet so they can't give exact breakdowns on the gender and number of participants, but I would still like better information than what they provided. I would like to approve the project, but ask her to send info after the tour about the actual impact of the project, if this sounds like a good idea to you two.

GAD Finance: I think this looks very thorough and well organized. I agree with having more information after also Erin. Recommend Funding.

GAD Specialist: I agree with both of you. I'll like to see the gender breakdown too of the participants.

GAD Coordinator Update: Spoke with Lindsay today; she reported the following breakdown of participants:

PCVS: 8 total; 6 female, 2 male
HCNs: 4 (1 woman CPEC professional women’s group; 1 male from Project Panther; 1 male chauffeur; 1 ONG member male)

She agreed to provide updated information about the number of people reached following the bike tour, broken down by gender. Project approved.

Closing Report

Brief Project Description: Oueme-Plateau HIV/AIDS Bike Tour
A group of 8 PCVs and 3 HCNs spent 4 days cycling from Sakete to Hozin. During the trip we stopped in 8 different communities, spending on average 2-3 hours educating a diverse population about HIV/AIDS, transmission, prevention (including condom demonstrations and distributions). One of our HCNs was the Oueme-Plateau regional director for PNLS Benin, she was able to use the trip to plan future testing-and-counseling sessions in the remote communities we visited. With a focus on presenting an effective and in-depth discussion the large audience that showed up to our presentations in each village was divided by gender and age, this allowed more free-flowing discussions and HIV/AIDS information to be tailored towards the specific experiences of a certain gender and/or age group.

Number of People Involved and Age Range:
Participants: 8 PCVs (6 female, 2 male), HCNs (1 female representative of PNLS, 2 male volunteers (driver and Project Panther team member))
People reached:

Women + 25 years 135
Men + 25 years 209
Girls 15-24 years 60
Boys 15-24 years 89
Girls under 15 91
Boys under 15 188
Total 772

What were the goals/objectives of this project? The goal of the bike tour is to educate a large and diverse population about how HIV/AIDS is transmitted and how they can protect themselves. There was also the focus on using the bike tour to contact and educate more remote communities that would not usually see PCVs or other aid workers.

Were those goals/objectives met? Yes, our goals of educating a large and diverse audience in remote villages were met. Before the actual bike tour took place, each village where we planned to stop was visited and plans were made for informing the population when and where the presentations would take place. This site-preparation meant that we were greeted by a substantial population when we arrived in each village. Communication was also eased by knowledgeable translators.

In each village we did the same presentation of HIV/AIDS, talking about methods of transmission and prevention. The verification that this information had been understood by the population was proven by doing the HIV/AIDS Myths and Realities game with small groups. Through these discussions we were also able to dispel myths about HIV/AIDS. There was also a condom demonstration, with a focus on dispelling myths about their use and a role-play on how women can insist their use before intercourse.

What were the strengths of this project? The key strength of this project was not how many villages participated, but the amount of time we spent in each village allowing presentations to be longer and more in-depth. With the audience being split into smaller groups by age and gender we were able to have more interactive discussion, this was particularly useful due to the sensitive nature of our topic. The group division was rewarded by women being more forthcoming in discussions and demonstrations. We were also able to tailor the presentations to focus on the material that is more important to each gender/age group.

Another strength that came out of the bike tour was from effective choice of participating HCNs. Dinan, of the Project Panther team from Ketou, was an informed translator for the bike tour who traveled with us, and he was able to give useful ideas to our presentation from his own experiences in PP. As a capacity-building exercise, he also benefited from speaking to different populations from what he is used to, going beyond the PP “peer group” he usually educates. He also made contact with other PCVs and the regional representative from PNLS.

Pauline from PNLS was also a very valuable resource to the bike tour. As the Oueme-Plateau representative she was able to provide useful information and advice to us. Through us she was also able to plan future testing and counseling sessions with the eight different communities we spoke to. This was also able to make the effect of our bike tour more sustainable, going beyond just the initial presentation.

What were the challenges/weaknesses of this project? Although at each stop we were able to generate a reasonable turn-out, the pre-arrival publicity was not as effective at creating a more gender-balanced audience. Women were under-represented in our audience. If doing the preparation for the bike tour again, we would emphasize to leaders in the community the importance of female turn-out.

Do you consider this project completed? Yes


Item Number Cost
Petrol for chase car 1 full tank 21,500 CFA
Water sachets 30 large sacks (600 sachets) 6,750 CFA
Bread for participants 41 5,125 CFA
Breakfast materials (butter and jams) 4 4,175 CFA
Bananas 120 1,750 CFA
Oranges 120 2,700 CFA
Total 42,000 CFA

Note: Lindsay returned 8,000 CFA in remaining cash to the Cotonou cash box.

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