Fight against HIV, AIDS gets boost

The local fight against HIV/AIDS, spearheaded by the Cayman Islands Red Cross, received a further boost last week.

As well as training 31 John Gray High School students as peer educators, the Red Cross HIV/AIDS programme also trained trainers for its Together We Can HIV/AIDS Peer Education Programme.

Participants included members of the National Youth Ambassador programme and other Red Cross volunteers.

The TWC programme seeks to empower young people through HIV/AIDS education. The peer educators once trained are expected to pass on lessons learned.

The national trainers and instructor trainers assist in the expansion of the TWC programme, and help the CIRC to implement and promote other HIV/AIDS campaigns.

The Red Cross release adds that continued success of the programme also relies on encouraging more adults to become trainers.

‘We were in desperate need of filling that gap with persons who could also devote the time to the training as well as commit to the responsibilities that come after being trained,’ said Programmes Manager and regional trainer for the programme, Carolina Ferreira.

‘Getting trained is just the beginning; the real work begins after you are certified.

‘Regional Trainers train National Trainers, who train Instructor Trainers, who train the Peer Educators. Having the support from the Jamaican Red Cross was indispensable as one person could not do this training by him/herself,’ she added.

Throughout the course, which ran for five evenings and all-day Saturday, Ms Ferreira was assisted by Kimberly Carraha and Jeffrey James, Jamaican Red Cross members and also Regional Trainers for TWC.

The local Red Cross was also assisted by Cayman Airways and the Sunshine Suites.

‘It was truly an exhausting week for the HIV programme,’ states CIRC branch director, Jondo Obi, ‘but it had to be done in order to strengthen not only the programme, but the Branch’s response to HIV/AIDS in Cayman.

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