The Anglican Archdiocese of Belize promotes HIV/AIDS Education
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
The Anglican Archdiocese has taken a stand in the fight against HIV AIDS through Education. Through the program; “Empowerment for all – HIV and AIDS” the diocese encourages HIV AIDS education with five major objectives:
*Increasing knowledge and skills of teachers on how to deliver age appropriate information to and conduct life skills sessions with their students.
* Promoting school environments which promote non-discriminatory practices among students, teachers and staff.
*Increasing the availability of information on HIV and AIDS including the availability of services, care and support.
*Increasing student’s knowledge of HIV and AIDS and increasing the number of students with the necessary life skills to prevent HIV infection.
*Increasing parents’ knowledge of HIV and AIDS and increasing the number of parents displaying positive attitudes towards persons living with HIV and AIDS.
In San Pedro, the Holy Cross Anglican School held its annual HIV March on Friday December 7th. The march saw students taking to the streets bearing banners and posters discouraging discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS and encouraging awareness. Students marched the streets chanting, “Stop AIDS” as they walked down Boca del Rio Drive to the San Pedro High School then to the Beach and back north to the School’s grounds.
According to principal, Grace Williams, the Archdiocese and children were very excited to be actively playing a part in the fight against HIV/AIDS. “The Anglican Diocese promotes things like this; it’s every year we do this parade. We believe that people need to become aware of what’s happening in our community. And I think that the parents don’t have the time to educate their children properly so the schools do all we can to try and see that maybe we can lessen this burden in some form. So what we do is we organize the parade. This year, we got the teachers to get the children to create these posters and we have a corner in every classroom that’s our HIV corner.”
According to Williams, students are introduced to the subject of HIV/AIDS from an early stage in their education with material relevant to their age. Williams hopes to sensitize the students of Holy Cross to the topic of HIV/AIDS and hopes that through their teachings, students will be able to make more informed and safe decisions. “What we want them to do is to be sensible and take the correct [path]. What I have seen out here is that from these kids are ten years old they are interested in boyfriends and girlfriends. So we want to teach them to take the right road, not the road that leads to the disease.”
Following the parade, the students were encouraged to place their various posters in their classrooms in the HIV corner. Throughout the course of the remainder of the day, teachers organized Spelling Bees and other activities centered around the topic of HIV/AIDS.