What is ASK?

Background of ASK 2.0

AIESEC Ghana joined fourteen other African countries in 2003 to run the empowering Africa programs (EAP) in Africa. Central amongst all the initiatives was the Answers, Solutions and Knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Today the project is called ASK. The project has been run by all five local committees namely University of Ghana (Legon), Central University College (CUC), University of Cape Coast (UCC), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Methodist University College, Ghana (MUCG)

Our objectives

 Increase the ability and skills to prevent HIV/AIDS and issues around HIV/AIDS into African youth by exposing them to lectures, case studies, games and practical experiences guided by international university students

 Training students to become peer educators and enable them to spread knowledge about HIV/AIDS.

 Getting behavioral change through extensive training for a longer period of time.

General idea

The learning activities will use the methodology of ‘peer education’. International young specialists will be acting as facilitators and guides during the process, also bringing best case practices of peer education in HIV/AIDS from their countries of origin, expanding the perspective of the local students and broadening their international exposure and mindsets. During the first weeks international and local members will receive an intense training in all the necessary aspects concerning the flow of the project, including youth peer education, psychological advice and understanding of the current reality of HIV/AIDS in Ghana as well as specific knowledge for the sessions that will be delivered to the local students. Then the members of the ASK Project will train pupils to spread good knowledge to their peers about how to prevent HIV/AIDS, how to interact with people that have HIV or AIDS and where to find support and help. The program will also offer open spaces for discussion and sharing around HIV/AIDS issues between different Nationalities and African High School Students. Learning partners would support throughout the learning and training process. Secondary and high school students will be invited to our “Come and Ask Day” as peer educators. They will have the opportunity to put in practices the skills developed and run activities and exercises for other teenagers from the local community.

What is unique about ASK?

As members of the ASK Project team, we strongly believe that both the school and the students can benefits from participating on the ASK Program:

• International exposure. The presence of the international students is bringing a whole new dimension to the process of creation of young peer educators. The team will be formed by young people from different nationalities and will allow learning from other countries’ experiences and initiatives around HIV/AIDS.

• Peer educators. We strongly believe that the best educators are the one who are educated. Recent studies (Cornish, F. & Campbell, C 2009) shown that peer educators are the best to get behavioral change.

• Behavioral change. The program is focused to get change in behavior. Only knowledge will not solve the current problems and the problems yet to come.

ASK Program schedule

The ASK project is not about giving one lecture. We, from ASK AIESEC CUC, want to present all necessary and relevant information on HIV/AIDS. This package will contain 14 in class sessions of 45 minutes. These sessions are created for 9 to 15 year old students and will contain the following topics:

1. Biology of Virus Session one will deal with the scientific definition of the HIV-Virus, the cell structure and biological traits. Plus, the biological development and the different stages of the disease will be discussed, paying special attention to the difference between the virus and the syndrome.

a. Interaction + theory

b. Mini exam

2. Human development In session two the development of the human body and the transition from child to adolescent will be dealt with. The new experience of being a young adult that, due to change in hormonal levels comes together with both changes in attitudes towards life and physical appearance will be discussed.

a. Interaction + theory

b. Mini exam

3. Transmission methods Session three deals with the different ways in which the HIV virus is transmitted from one person to the other. After providing the definition of transmission, it will go further into the details of the three main ways of transmission. These are blood transfusion, vertical transmission (the passing of the virus from mother to child) and unprotected sexual intercourse.

a. Interaction + theory

b. Mini exam

4. Summary chapter 1-3 In the session the peer educators and students will summarize the first three sessions, in order to repeat and ensure correct understanding of the material.

5. Prevention methods This session deals with the definition of prevention and mentioning how acquiring the HIV-virus can be prevented by using the ABC-method. This focuses on Abstinence from sex until marriage, Being faithful to your partner and Constantly and Correctly using Condoms.

a. Interaction + theory

b. Mini exam

6. Where to go? How to deal with it? What to do next? Session six deals with the advantage of knowing about your HIV status, why you should get tested and encourage others to do the same in case you suspect that you might be infected. Furthermore the benefits of counseling will be discussed and how everyone involved should deal with a positive test result. The workshop will also provide specific contacts in the Kaneshie-area for medical centers specialized on HIV, counseling and testing.

a. Interaction + theory

b. Mini exam

7. Discrimination, stigmatization, stereotypes In session seven we discuss the different stereotypes that exist concerning HIV-positive persons and how to interact with people with HIV that are in your direct environment. Hereby we hope to prevent issues that can inhibit the quality of life of HIV-positive persons in our society, such as discrimination and stigmatization.

a. Interaction + theory

b. Mini exam

8. Summary chapter 4-6 In the session the peer educators and students will summarize the last three sessions, in order to repeat and ensure correct understanding of the material.

Strengths of this program are:

 Complete education on HIV/AIDS

 Creating peer educator to ensure continuous knowledge transfer

 Providing Answers, solutions and knowledge (ASK) on the topic of HIV/AIDS  Interaction with international cultures

 Testing and improving of the knowledge

Benefits of education on HIV/Aids

Why do schools need to encooperate the ASK program in their curriculum? According to the UNAIDS Fact sheet on the HIV/Aids epidemic in Ghana, there were an estimated 260,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Ghana as of the end of 2009 and the prevalence rate of HIV among adult is around 3.1%. This percentage should be taken very seriously, seeing as it is scientifically proven that a disease with a prevalence of 5% or higher amongst the population can be considered as an endemic, thus out of control and unstoppable. The Ghana AIDS Commission is the coordinating body for all HIV/AIDS-related activities in the country; it oversees an expanded response to the epidemic and is responsible for carrying out the National Strategic Frameworks as mentioned below. In order to achieve their goal of both preventing HIV infections as well as diminishing the socioeconomic and psychological effects of HIV/AIDS on individuals, communities, and the nation, the Ghana Aids Commission has designed two national strategic plans during the past ten years, of which the second was designed for the years 2006 untill 2010. This second and revised version of the original focuses on: policy, advocacy, and enabling environment; coordination and management of the decentralized response; mitigating the economic, sociocultural, and legal impacts; prevention and Behavior Change Communication; treatment, care, and support; research and surveillance; and monitoring and evaluation. As you can see, due to the fact that the ASK-program offers a wide range of workshops, all the concepts that the Ghana Aids Commission deems necessary are included and the program will thus contribute to achieving the goals the commission set in order to achieve both a decrease in the prevalence of HIV and a change in attitudes and behaviour concerning the epidemic

If you are interested to help with ASK and stand with us in the fight against HIV/Aids please fill in this form and we will contact you

Find here available TNs

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