Earlier we mentioned that we visited a local children's clinic, that work with HIV- positive children and youths. Once a month they gather youths from all over the district for something they call Teen Club. They spend a full day on different topics related to HIV/AIDS, but also on other teen issues. Even though it’s important to discuss these topics, the most important part is that the youths enjoy them selves and have fun. The Teen club is an arena where they can meet other youths dealing with similar challenges, acquire life skills and improve their self-esteem. With focus on the last point we decided to do a whole day on self-esteem, and last saturday we had approximately one hundred youths attending a work shop.
We kicked the day off with some games before the teens were served breakfast. They are also offered lunch, since meals on a regular basis is very important when you receive ART (antiretroviral therapy). After breakfast and games we did a Q&A, and then continued with group work on the subject. Some of the youths are very shy, especially when it comes to public speaking. Therefor we challenged everyone to step up and present their group work. We were impressed with all of them, both for their courage and work.
The Teen Club is a “secret” club and exclusive for HIV positive adolescents. Across Lesotho there are about 900 members aged 11-18 years. There are also a group for youths who have graduated the Teen Club, which is called Wise Ones. They are aged 18-24 years and are focusing more on learning life skills and to serve as positive role models for the younger teens. We are currently planing a collaboration with this group as well, and hope to get the project up and running after christmas.
We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with the Teen Club, and would like to thank the Baylor Clinic for including us.
Astri & Ida