Sharing some good news as we head into the new year!
ALL 25 students in our first graduating class were granted approval from her caregiver/guardian to receive an HIV test. Due to the stigma around HIV/AIDS in developing countries, this was a significant accomplishment. In even bigger news – EVERY girl tested negative.
Most of our students live with one or more HIV+ family members or caregivers. Many assumed they were also positive. You could feel this in the air as they awaited their test. After receiving results, students expressed a feeling of ‘a new life’ and ‘starting fresh’. There were many, many smiles.
This was a part of our HIV/AIDS awareness initiatives last month, kicking things off on 12/1 for World AIDS Day. In addition, all 75 incoming students completed certification training and are prepared for testing later this year. Certification coursework arms students with facts and real-life solutions for the future, once they become sexually active. One more element in breaking her poverty cycle.
Initiative made possible through The White Feather Foundation, Ethiopia Healthcare Network & OSSHD.