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  • Centre Espérance Loyola, Lomé, Togo (Darrin Zammit Lupi/AJAN)

  • Mirror of Hope, Kibera, Kenya (Darrin Zammit Lupi/AJAN)

  • CVX, Kigali, Rwanda (Darrin Zammit Lupi/AJAN)

Latest News

  • Social Media: Great power needs great responsibility

    4 March 2017 - Every time we have open sessions with youth, we get asked questions like: “We’ve just read online that some prophet has cured AIDS and even eradicated HIV in a person. Does this mean we now have a way around the virus and AIDS?”... Read on 

     
  • Challenges for people living with HIV in DRC

    4 March 2017 - The year 2016 was full of chronic challenges for people living with HIV in Kisangani, in Congo’s Eastern Province. It would be wonderful if these problems could be assuaged in 2017. Chief among these is a deficit in AIDS awareness outside urban areas, where there are few or no testing facilities... Read on

     
  • Treat everyone as a human being

    4 March 2017 - People never ever lose their humanity. Even when they are seriously ill, they remain human beings, with a special gift to share with others. Pope Francis underscored the inalienable dignity and uniqueness of each one of us in his annual message for the World Day of the Sick... Read on

     
  • Are we listening to what young people are telling us?

    4 March 2017 - Many young people living with HIV are dying AIDS-related deaths. This is what latest evidence reveals. Poor or lack of adherence to Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) has been identified from our interactions with youth as the reason why we lose many of them... Read on

     

     

     
  • World Aids Day

    Harnessing the ability of young people to take good decisions and to act wisely and compassionately is crucial to face up to the AIDS pandemic. The African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) firmly believes that young people have this potential however they... Read more

About AJAN

Jesuits across sub-Saharan Africa reach out daily to people affected by AIDS and seek to prevent the spread of HIV. The African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) coordinates their efforts, inspired by the vision: Empowered individuals, families, and communities working towards an HIV and AIDS free society and fullness of life (cfr John 10:10)

World AIDS Day 2013: Engage young people in the struggle against AIDS

A message from Fr Michael Lewis SJ, President of JESAM (Jesuit Superiors of Africa and Madagascar)

Young people need to feel part of the struggle against AIDS and to be empowered with the confidence, values, skills and knowledge to make a valuable contribution.

As the international community marks World AIDS Day on 1 December, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has drawn attention to the vulnerability of adolescents to HIV infection.In 2012, there were 2.1 million adolescents living with HIV worldwide.

The African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) strongly believes that value-based education is a pivotal element in controlling HIV among this vulnerable age group. AJAN coordinates the AIDS programmes run by Jesuits and their co-workers across sub-Saharan Africa, including many implemented in schools and educational centres run by the Jesuit order, which has a renowned pedagogical tradition.

With their rich experience in education, the Jesuits are ideally placed to organise HIV prevention programmes for youth. However, we have realised that prevention campaigns alone are not enough, and sometimes actually put young people off, because they feel they are hearing the same old thing again and again. We have learned that we constantly need to be creative and to reach out in a youth-friendly way.

The successful programmes are those that encourage young people to think critically and equip them with the 'tools' to act: to make responsible choices, to respond with compassion to the needs around them, and to make a real difference.

In 2012, AJAN launched an innovative programme for Jesuit schools and educational centres called the AJAN HIV&AIDS Prevention Programme for Youth (AHAPPY). Adapting principles of Jesuit pedagogy and spirituality for teenagers, the AHAPPY programme tackles HIV prevention in the context of integral personal development. Young people are guided to view themselves in relation to self, others, God and creation. The means used include life-skills, peer education, creative activities like drama, and Catholic Church teaching.

Critically, the programme has been designed in the belief that young people are active agents in their own formation. This is perhaps the most valuable lesson we have learned in years of doing HIV prevention among youth. We need to harness the enthusiasm and potential of young people to make a real difference. Their gifts can truly enhance education campaigns to make inroads in the steep HIV prevalence rates that threaten them. The only way to address HIV/AIDS is comprehensively, by making prevention part of a wider search for personal wholeness.

To read this message in French, please go here.