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Peer Educator Profile

 

Our Peer Educators are teenage girls and they are invaluable to the work Act4Africa does in Uganda. We are extremely grateful for the work they do and our Grow a Girl programme will make sure that they receive a good education. Below is a selection of their profiles, to help you understand the difference Grow a Girl makes on an individual level.

 

Sharon

Name: Sharon

Age: 17

Family:  The youngest of six children, Sharon has three brothers and two sisters.

Hobbies/interests: I like my education, playing football, listening to music, singing and dancing, reading books and computer operation.

What difference has being a Peer Educator made to you?

Becoming a peer educator has made me understand that even though I am HIV positive, I am still important to the community. I have also developed a talent of teaching and talking to other students.

What do you enjoy about being a Peer Educator?

Being a peer educator, I enjoy talking to my fellow friends about abstinence and stigma reduction, and I like being able to counsel others. More so, I feel good when other people ask me questions about HIV/AIDS and when I can correct misinformation. I enjoy teaching others how to use condoms and guiding young mothers to go for HIV testing and antenatal check-ups at the nearest hospital.

What do you want to do when you leave school? I hope to be a lawyer after my education, to advocate for the rights of other people and mainly children living with HIV/AIDS. I want to continue guiding other people about HIV.

PE Brenda

Name: Brenda

Age: 16

Family: Brenda has one sister, and they are sadly  dealing with the death of both parents in recent months.

Hobbies/interests: I am interested in my education and like reading science and English books. I also enjoy volleyball, football and singing in church.

What difference has being a Peer Educator made to you?

I have learnt about condoms and how they prevent pregnancy and STIs. Since being a peer educator at my secondary school, the number of early marriages and pregnancies among students has reduced through learning about using condoms and abstaining from sex. I am proud that through being a peer educator, I am now able to communicate to big groups of people.

What do you enjoy about being a Peer Educator?

As a peer educator I am knowledgeable and am often consulted for advice. I advise my peers to change their bad behaviour to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV. My friends are happy because at school there has been a decrease in early pregnancies, and that’s special to me.

What do you want to do when you leave school? I would like to continue improving my academic performance, as I want to be a midwife.

 

BridgetName: Bridget

Age: 18

Family:The eldest of seven children, Bridget has two sisters and four brothers.

Hobbies/interests: My hobbies are reading novels, playing netball and I also like singing and dancing.

 

 

What difference has being a Peer Educator made to you?

As a peer educator, I have achieved many things, like teaching my fellow students to have respect for elders, tutors and other people above them. I have trained a group at our school about behaving compassionately towards people who are living with HIV/AIDS, and the importance of counselling, befriending and socialising with them rather than stigmatising them. I have trained my friends about staying in school and I encourage gender equality amongst boys and girls.

What do you enjoy about being a Peer Educator?

I have learnt to live an exemplary life and enjoy advising my fellow students, especially girls, that they should stay and finish school. At school the behaviour of the students has changed, and they no longer fight with teachers.

What do you want to do when you leave school?

I want to be a nurse because I am good at sciences and mathematics, and am in the second year of my certificate in nursing. I want to save people’s lives through counselling and treating them, especially people living with HIV/AIDS.

 

Name: Phionah                                                          Phionah

Age: 17

Family:  Phiona and her six brothers are orphans and live with their Aunt.

Hobbies/interests: My hobbies are playing netball, listening to gospel music, reading story books, watching films and swimming.

What difference has being a Peer Educator made to you?

Before being a peer educator I used to dodge classes as I felt like they could bore me, but today I attend them all. I now behave differently by staying at school until the end of the day, unlike in the past where I used to escape from school to play games instead. I have learnt to respect my fellow schoolmates and enjoy teaching them about HIV/AIDS, stigma reduction, positive behaviour change and life skills.

What do you enjoy about being a Peer Educator?

As a peer educator, I enjoy socialising with others and teaching them about preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, and also advising my friends to go for HIV tests to find out their status. I enjoy encouraging girls to stay in school and to abstain from sex until marriage, as I have opted to do. I like being a peer educator because I now have better levels of HIV knowledge, which has corrected misinformation that I had before because of a lack of understanding. I enjoy being listened to by my community on matters of HIV, especially by the elders. My friends and I have joined the anti-AIDS club, which has helped us a lot with socialising, gaining knowledge of safe behaviour and facing challenges in life.

What do you want to do when you leave school?

My interest is to finish my studies and become a teacher or nurse.

 

Prossy 1Name: Prossy

Age: 17

Family: Orphaned as a consequence of AIDS, Prossy also lost her brother as a result of the disease. Along with her remaining siblings, she lives with her cousins and aunt who is also an AIDS widow living with HIV.

 

 

Hobbies/interests: At school I like physics and playing netball, and at home I help with domestic duties like washing clothes, digging and planting maize and beans.

What difference has being a Peer Educator made to you?

I had to drop out of school because of school fees, but then I got sponsorship from Act4Africa. Now I’m at a better school and I work hard in class, despite having to walk far each day.

What do you enjoy about being a Peer Educator?

I have learnt that I don’t need to be shy, and I’m building up my self-esteem.  I am happy to act as a role model to my friends by abstaining from sex and due to my increased confidence I am comfortable talking to the girls in my school about the importance of this to their health and future.

What do you want to do when you leave school?

After school I want to be a doctor or a nurse. I want to earn enough money to build a house for my family in Jinja because it offers better education for my siblings than our local school.

 

Name: Talent              Talent 1

Age: 15

Family: Talent is the middle child of seven, with three sisters and three brothers.

Hobbies/interests: I like debating, reading novels, singing Christian music and playing netball and cricket.

 

What difference has being a Peer Educator made to you?

Being a peer educator has empowered me to acquire assertiveness, good communication skills and to stand amidst people and talk. I have changed my behaviour because as a peer educator, I need to be a role model. Act4Africa has trained me to be bold and teach about HIV without fear of my fellow peers. It has taken away my nervousness and fear of talking in public and helped me to be a well-disciplined girl. As a peer educator, I have learnt to be helpful to my parents, and now after school I help out with domestic work.

What do you enjoy about being a Peer Educator? I enjoy educating my fellow girls on the benefits of abstinence from early sex and early marriage, and enjoy teaching community members about the dangers of HIV/AIDS. I began a club in my school and we have visited two primary schools to teach them about the problems of early pregnancy and dropping out of school, as well as how to change behavior to prevent the spread of HIV.

What do you want to do when you leave school?

By the end of the year I want to have trained all my peers. In the future, I want to be a doctor and to help other people as I have been helped, especially mothers who might die while giving birth.