Guinagourou December 2011


Post: Guinagourou

Date(s) of project: December 1, 2011

Brief description of Project:
In celebration of World AIDS, I worked with my two homologues and partners at CIPEC to plan a program. CIPEC, which stands for Information and Counseling Centers (Centre d’Informations, de Prospectives et de Conseils), serves as an organization dedicated to working with people living with HIV/AIDS. CIPEC provides patients with testing, education, counseling and aid in seeking treatment. CIPEC also does outreach work with public health centers with money donated by the World Bank by providing free rapid diagnostic tests, condoms and instruction for trained health professionals on how to administer the tests and the importance of privacy for patients. After a discussion with Dr. Salman at CIPEC, we decided to have the program take place in three parts as a result of the fact that different demographics merit different messages. In the early afternoon, starting at 2:00, we had a presentation accompanied by a condom demonstration at the local town hall, adjoining the Chef d’Arrondissement’s office, followed by free testing and condom distribution. This was targeted at the general population of Guinagourou, thus communicated safe sex practices, fidelity, frequent testing and proper condom use.
The second part of the program began at 4:30 and took place at the local CEG. Here the message was tailored for the students and emphasized abstinence, not taking gifts in exchange for sex, and the consequences of having sex too early, such as unwanted pregnancy and STIs. In addition, we also explained safe sex practices and had a condom demonstration, as it is not realistic to think that all of the students will abstain from sex. After this educational session, two people who are a part of a group in the Borgou region for people living with HIV/AIDS, spoke to the students. They explained the realities of the disease and how their lives were changed as a result. This was followed by free testing and condom distribution.
The third part started at 7:30 and took place at the centrally located primary school. CIPEC rented out to us a projector, DVD player and films on the subject of HIV/AIDS. I was able to rent speakers and a generator from a local, aspiring disc jockey and the people from CIPEC arrived in time to help with the projection. Four films were played and people from all over the village came to watch the films projected onto the primary school wall. After the films were finished, the people from CIPEC spoke about the importance of awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS and the program was finished. Approximately 135 people were tested and over 7,000 condoms were distributed over the course of the day’s activities. HIV/AIDS testing is a difficult activity to conduct in Guinagourou and frequently has low-attendance numbers as a result of misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding HIV/AIDS. One example of these misunderstandings is people who believe that if they are healthy and feel fine, then they cannot have HIV/AIDS, thus do not need to be tested. This project has further confirmed that this informational dissension exists in the community is in need of being addressed. Further work and projects will be developed as a result of this activity.

Number of people involved:

# of
# of Service Providers (work partners, Project co-organizers,
technicians, animators, etc.)
Women over 24 5 2
Men over 24 35 4
Girls 15-24 200 1
Boys 15-24 400
Girls under 15 10
Boys under 15 10


Item Number Unit Cost Total Cost
Projector and DVD Player 1 15.000 15.000
Speakers and generator 1 5.000 5.000
Transport of Projector and DVD player 1 3.000 3.000
Lab technician from Perrere to administer testing 1 3.000 3.000
Other aid from Perrere to administer testing 1 5.000 5.000
Dinner for Sage Femme for administering testing 1 2.000 2.000
HIV/AIDS Guest Speakers 2 2.000 4.000
Drinks for guests from CIPEC 4 300 1.200
Total 38.200

Amount Requested: 38.200

Feedback: Overall impression of project? Anything you would have done differently? Advice for someone attempting a similar project?

I believe that this project went well overall and had a positive effect on members of the community. Further work is certainly necessary and this activity shed further light on the situation; with the help of local authorities, we hope to get better attendance to events such as these. If I were to do this again, I would work on better advertisement and try to better approach the advertisement with the knowledge acquired on December 1, that people in my village do not see the importance of testing if they are not sick, and also, many people believe that HIV does not exist. So, advice to someone attempting a similar project: find someone who will be genuinely honest with you about the potential problems the project may involve in your community and tailor your preparatory work based upon this information. To target an entire population requires preparatory work and early campaigning to ensure the entire community partakes and recognizes that everyone is susceptible to HIV/AIDS and that one does not necessarily have to be sick to be living with HIV.

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