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YOPOC’s HIV/AIDS programme on youths work

YOPOC Malawi

YOPOC’s HIV/AIDS programme gains momentum as it targets young bicycle operators at Jali and Govala trading centres
Roseby Chiweza, the executive director of Youth for Positive Change (YOPOC) a youth led community based organisation from Zomba district in Malawi, Southern Africa, has received an individual grant from The Pollination Project to implement an HIV/Aids project targeting bicycle taxi operators. According to Roseby Chiweza, bicycle taxi operators at Jali and Govala trading centres are indulging unprotected sex with sex workers due to lack of information on HIV prevention, inadequate access to acquire condoms and lack of personal life skills to work against negative peer pressure of practicing unprotected sex.
“I have observed the behaviors of this target group because of my work experience that bicycle taxi operators at Jali and Govala trading centres are at high risk of contracting HIV” said the youthful executive director. “Some of this target group who are aware of YOPOC’s project targeting sex workers and young fisher men approached me and suggested that similar project should be implemented at Jali and Govala trading centres to promote HIV prevention among the bicycle taxi operators. YOPOC’s project targeting young sex workers and young fishermen is being funded by Mercury Phoenix Trust and has so achieved the following: established five youth clubs for HIV/Aids prevention education and aids awareness; trained 20 young people in life skills which enables them to make good decicions about HIV;conducted 16 focus group discussions with young fishermen and young sex workers; conducted 8 awareness campagn meeting with young fishermen and young sex workers and distributed over 11,290 condoms to young people.
With funding from The Pollination Project, Roseby Chiweza and her project team from YOPOC has so far established 5 youth clubs involving young bicycle taxi operators and she is expected to educate these young bicycle operators through their youth clubs on how they can prevent hiv infection as well as distribute 1,700 condoms to the young bicycle operators for safe sex.will Therefore, this project is needed because it will result in reduction of HIV infections among bicycle taxi operators in the proposed area.

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