Name of Project: Creating an Enabling Environment – HIV and AIDS and Child Abuse
Funding: HIV and AIDS Country Development Officer (CDO) Tonga
Partner: Tonga Family Health Association
Duration: 1 month, June 2011 and March and April 2012
No of Participants: 107 (women, men and youth)
The objective of the project was to bring to the awareness of participants the importance for adult to protect children from rape, molestation, and abuse. It was also importance for participants to be aware that children can be contracted with the virus of HIV and AIDS or STIs through rape, molestation and abuse.
The above workshops targeted the Eastern part of Tonga including Nukuleka, Makaunga, Talafo’ou, Navutoka, Manuka, Kolonga, Afa and Niutoua.
The project was also devised to cover four centres with two villages participated in each centre. The centres wereMakaunga and Nukuleka at Makaunga village, Talafo’ou and Navutoka at Talafo’ou village, Manuka and Kolonga at Manuka village and Niutoua and Afa at Afa village.
Topics covered included, Human Rights, Human Dignity, Gender, HIV and AIDS, STIs and Child abuse
Culturally the topics covered were regarded as sensitive and taboos to talk about in our society. The MFF team was able to give time to hear and discussed with participants especially the importance to learn and to have knowledge on issues mentioned above. The importance of protection and freeing our people especially children from social problems that will affect them due to ignorance and negligence was highlighted during the group discussion. After a good and fruitful discussion the group gave the go ahead because they saw the importance of the message to learn.
The project was able to breakthrough cultural belief that talking about sexual transmitted disease such as HIV and AIDS and STIs is disrespect in nature and must not be discussed openly in public especially when there are elderly people or brothers, sisters and cousins. As a trainer I am proud to say that after a good discussion with the participants in each of the centres the program went smoothly with no disturbance.