Saturday, April 19, 2014

The HIV/AIDS crisis here

My students participate in a program called Grass Root Soccer. It's intended to educate them about the HIV/AIDS crisis that's plaguing the country.

   There are nearly 400 students who attend my primary school.
   About half are orphans. Most of them have lost one or both parents to the HIV/AIDS crisis that's plaguing Lesotho.
   Sadly, Lesotho has the third highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world. The driving force is multiple common partners (MCPs) and unprotected sex.
   This crisis is no laughing matter. It's real. Some of my students are the heads of their
households. Others are being raised on their grandparents' thin pension. And, unfortunately,
some of my students are living and suffering with the disease.
   As a Peace Corps Volunteer, it's my job to help to mitigate the spread of the disease. I do this by teaching about the virus in my Life Skills classes.
   I also co-facilitate a program called Grass Root Soccer, which uses games and soccer lingo to educate youth about the disease. My co-worker and I hold sessions twice a week for about two hours.
We graduated 35 students in our first class last year and have continually run the program each school session.
   Personally, I'm a nun and I ain't getting none. Pun intended. I don't mess with anyone out here. Lord knows I'm no Goody Two Shoes but I've been closed off here because I have to practice what I preach, especially when it comes to a disease that's plaguing my country of service-and my students.

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