To mark World AIDS Day (December 1), the MTV Staying Alive Foundation (SAF) has announced new grants to grassroots organizations striving to promote HIV and AIDS education and awareness around the world. MTV’s global charitable foundation will make new grants to 21 organizations, 12 of which are based in sub-Saharan Africa. For the first time SAF will make awards to projects targeting vulnerable communities in South Sudan and Haiti; an additional 15 organizations will have their grants renewed.
Since 2005, SAF has provided 417 grants to youth organizations in more than 60 countries, spending more than US $4million directly with young people working to stop the HIV epidemic in their communities. SAF 2012 grants will include a wide variety of recipients including projects targeting men who have sex with men in Nigeria, female factory workers in Pakistan and young offenders in the USA.
Georgia Arnold, Executive Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation comments, “Our grantees are dynamic, inspiring leaders who are helping the MTV Staying Alive Foundation achieve our vision of an HIV free Generation. We were overwhelmed by the quality and number of proposals submitted this year and congratulate all our successful grantees, all of whom have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to real change in their own communities.”
New grantees for 2012 include:
University of Calabar Association for AIDS Prevention (UCAAP), Calabar, Nigeria: The U-CARE project will be aimed at university students and will begin by training 20 peer facilitators who will then target each faculty within the university. This will be followed by four special events throughout the year to increase HIV transmission knowledge for 2,500 students which includes theatre performances, film shows and dissemination of Information, Education and Communication materials. U-CARE strive to counsel and test up to 1,000 young people through quarterly mobile HIV counselling and testing in four locations. Lastly, they aim to distribute 1,250 male and 500 female condoms.
Improved Youth Health Initiative (IYHI – Youth’s 2gether Network), Enugu and Anambra, Nigeria: The ‘Link a Youth’ project aims to reduce the HIV prevalence and discrimination amongst young men who have sex with men (MSM) in Enugu and Anambra. They will do this through training 15 peer educators through a three day workshop on sexual reproductive health rights, followed by the establishment of a community centre which will distribute condoms and lubricants. They will aim to reach 300 young people through voluntary counselling and testing and also organise one social event targeting 150 people including community leaders in a bid to share ideas and brainstorm on the sustainability of ‘Link a Youth’.
Kasweta Self Help Group, Kapoeta district, South Sudan: The project, ‘Opportunity in Crisis: Preventing HIV from Early Adolescents to Young Adulthood’ will train 40 young people as peer educators focusing on early pregnancy, early sexual debut and the impact of HIV. They will also train them on condom use and post counseling on trauma for refugees. Village committee meetings will be organized monthly involving leaders. Counseling is a large component of the project for those who have felt the impact of the civil war, targeting child soldiers who have been raped. These counseling sessions will be weekly and in the local language. Theatre performances will be organized with a HIV prevention focus, along with skits on market days. Information, Education and Communication materials will be distributed, networking with NGOs in the community will occur and monthly forums will be organized to offer business management skills to the community.
Women’s Empowerment Organisation (WEO), Multan, Pakistan: targeting young women in the textile and brick kiln industries, WEO will train 200 young women as peer educators to help spread their HIV prevention knowledge to their colleagues. WEO will also distribute 5,000 posters to raise HIV awareness, perform street theatre on prevention methods and counsel and test 2,000 young women with an aim to distribute condoms in five villages and five urban slums in Multan.
Club Leadership AnnViv (CLA), Haiti, Port-au-Prince: CLA is to launch a communication campaign to build local leadership and help educate about HIV prevention and awareness. The project is a continuation of their current efforts, which is to increase the knowledge of HIV among six disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Port-au-Prince. To do this, CLA will train 12 young journalists to cover HIV/AIDS related issues, produce four interactive radio shows on HIV prevention, three print articles in the Haitian media and they will also organize two community events in a bid to raise awareness of HIV and reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with the virus.
Do JuSTIce, USA, Nebraska: The Douglas County Youth Correction (DCYC) STI Education Project is a collaboration between Do JuSTIce and DCYC to overcome the STI epidemic among young offenders. Students from the University of Nebraska Medical Centre will provide STI and HIV prevention education to adolescents under the care of DCYC through PowerPoint presentations, individual voluntary counseling and testing sessions, and educate on the resources available to young offenders in regards to sexual reproductive health. In addition students will benefit from interacting with adolescents from diverse backgrounds. Eight student leaders will be trained, with 500 young people benefiting from the education sessions and 100 volunteers recruited by Do JuSTIce.
United Youth for Rwandan Development (UYRD), Rwanda: In their first year of their grant, UYRD targeted 20 prisons in Eastern Rwanda with education and awareness on HIV/AIDS, basic reproductive health information and voluntary counseling and testing access. In their first year, UYRD reached 56,100 inmates directly through their activities which includes screening a documentary produced with real life prisoners and their daily struggles with drug use, homosexuality and HIV prevention. From this, they distributed 20,400 condoms to prisoners. UYRD have been offered a three year re-grant and will now expand this project to ten additional prison camps. They are also implementing their HIV prevention education to TIG (Travaux pour Intérêt Général – work for the general interest) prisoners in Rwanda. TIG prisoners are those who have left the high security prisons and are given more freedom is a minimum security camp. Over the next three years they aim to reach 45,000 TIG prisoners.
Alternativa, Laloveni District, Moldova: In their first year of their SAF grant, Alternativa targeted 3 villages in the Laloveni District and conducted interactive activities based on media, sport and theatre events. Liaising with the three community stakeholders and local media, they created an online blog to spread HIV prevention messaging, train peer educators from the villages and organized peer-to-peer workshops. In their first year, they distributed over 6,000 condoms and reached over 3,000 young people with their blog. Other activities included social theatre performances and an essay contest, both that resulted in reaching over 1,000 young people from the three villages. Alternativa have been offered an additional two year SAF grant, which will allow them to broaden their activities. The project “Youth together for a future without AIDS!” will target the whole Laloveni district with an additional 25 villages and one small city. Alternativa will continue to conduct informational training sessions on HIV prevention, while aiming to distribute 2,000 condoms in all localities by educators and volunteers.
For a full list of MTV Staying Alive 2012 grantees and re-grantees go to http://