IHealthy and Smart HIV/AIDS Prevention Curriculum for YouthHello. Let me introduce myself. I am Margaret (Meg) Meador, MPH, Vice President, International Public Health of To Love Children Educational Foundation International, Inc. (TLC). I am excited and pleased to share with you the first edition of Healthy and Smart HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum for youth. TLC developed Healthy and Smart in response to the escalating HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa, particularly among young women. HIV not only yields significant biological and social costs, but is also detrimental economically. HIV and AIDS are known to hamper efforts to reduce poverty and have negative impacts on educational development. An additional consequence is the increase in the numbers of people living in extreme poverty. During the implementation and evaluation stage of Healthy and Smart, we will provide you with updates and ask for your input. My international public health team is gathering research in order to incorporate TLC’s HIV prevention curriculum into a micro loan poultry project for women living with HIV. TLC is also examining ways to expand our international public health program in order to encompass a broader range of intervention strategies addressing HIV, including mother-to-child transmission, HIV testing, counseling, and treatment.
How is Healthy and Smart HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum for youth different than other programs?Healthy and Smart specifically targets youth in the most vulnerable populations. Current data show that youth and young adults are at the core of the pandemic in terms of transmission, susceptibility, impact, and capacity for change. Healthy and Smart was conceived as an education tool to effect change through educating youth concerning the HIV/AIDS risk, and most importantly, how to prevent infection. Experts from the World Health Organization, national ministries of Uganda, and the University of Nairobi guided TLC to understand how current officially sanctioned HIV/AIDS programs fail to effect real social change. Current approaches are didactic, literacy-based, and Eurocentric, and ignore the rich oral African traditional forms of communication. Healthy and Smart was developed based on Social Learning Theory, which emphasizes the importance of observing and modelling the behaviours, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others. The curriculum is intentionally designed to be interactive and delivered by local teachers and peers. In addition, TLC has included an appendix on alternative and culturally relevant teaching approaches. We believe that the use of non-western communication and teaching methods will allow more flexibility and tailoring in how Healthy and Smart’s material is presented and will also strengthen the ability of our curriculum to have an effective prevention message. To Love Children needs active partners who share our passion if Healthy and Smart is to realize our public health goals. I invite you to join me on our journey to help empower the youth of Africa to become healthy and smart.
We are looking for partners and funding to implement.
With sincerest regards, Margaret E. Meador Margaret E. (Meg) Meador Vice President, International Public Health
For more information:
Margaret E. (Meg) Meador, MPH Vice President, International Public Healthmegmeador@tolovechildren.org 907.385.4980 (Office) 907.590.1551 (Mobile)
David Kenneth Waldman, Founder, President, and CEOdavidkennethwaldman@tolovechildren.org 410.528.8294 (Office) 443.831.0085 (Mobile)