Empowering Youth, Building Partnerships: Partnership for a HIV Free Generation’s Impact in Nakuru County
The Partnership for a HIV Free Generation (HFG) is a non-governmental organization dedicated to improving the lives of youth in Kenya by implementing evidence-informed interventions and forging partnerships with local communities, implementing partners, the Government of Kenya, and public and private stakeholders. With a primary goal of promoting healthy and productive lives, HFG is actively involved in an HIV prevention project in Kericho and Nakuru Counties, implemented in collaboration with the Kenya Red Cross Society and funded by the Global Fund. In Nakuru County, HFG’s efforts are in Nakuru North, Molo, Kuresoi North, Kuresoi South, and Njoro Sub-Counties.
Collaborating for Community Health:
Michael Odeke, the Nakuru North Sub-County HIV & STDs Coordinator, acknowledges the instrumental role played by the Partnership for a HIV Free Generation (HFG) in Nakuru County. This partnership extends across the five Sub-Counties, with close collaboration between HFG and the administrators of Njoro, Molo, Nakuru North, Kuresoi South, and Kuresoi North. Together, they have developed schedules and strategies to prevent the spread of HIV, working diligently to protect the community’s health.
Enhancing Healthcare Professional Knowledge:
HFG actively contributes to the knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals through workshops and training sessions. These initiatives specifically target medical doctors and community health volunteers (CHVs), equipping them with up-to-date information on HIV prevention and treatment. By empowering healthcare professionals, HFG ensures that accurate and adequate information is disseminated within the community, promoting healthy lifestyles and reducing the prevalence of HIV.
Empowering Communities: Awareness and Mental Health Support:
Recognizing the interconnection between HIV prevention and gender-based violence, HFG actively engages in community awareness campaigns. These campaigns emphasize living a life free from gender-based violence and promote respectful and healthy relationships. Moreover, HFG provides essential counselling services for mental health, both within medical facilities and directly within the community. By addressing mental health concerns, HFG takes a holistic approach to support the overall well-being of individuals affected by HIV and gender-based violence.
Strengthening Advocacy and Support Networks:
HFG plays an essential role in raising awareness and advocating for key events and campaigns. They actively contribute to the preparation and organization of significant events such as World AIDS Day, World Tuberculosis Day, and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Through these efforts, HFG amplifies the message of prevention, support, and solidarity, mobilizing communities to take action and end the stigma surrounding HIV and gender-based violence.
Building Capacity: Training and Services:
To further enhance their impact, HFG provides comprehensive training to various groups, including Peer Educators, Community Health Volunteers, and Health Workers. By equipping these individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills, HFG empowers them to become agents of change within their communities. Additionally, HFG actively contributes to the development of policies governing HIV and gender-based violence, ensuring that robust frameworks are in place to protect the rights and well-being of all individuals.
Supporting Survivors: Legal Assistance and Advocacy:
Acknowledging the critical need for support services for survivors of gender-based violence, HFG collaborates with pro bono lawyers and paralegals to provide legal representation. HFG goes beyond counselling and extends its support by covering the legal fees, through pro bono lawyers, necessary for survivors to access justice through the court system. By championing survivors’ rights and offering essential legal assistance, HFG strives to create a safe and supportive environment for all.
The Partnership for a HIV Free Generation’s collaboration with Nakuru County has been transformative, fostering youth empowerment, community engagement, and healthcare capacity building. Through their initiatives, including workshops, awareness campaigns, mental health support, and advocacy efforts, HFG actively works towards preventing the spread of HIV and addressing gender-based violence. By forging partnerships, providing training, and offering crucial legal assistance, HFG creates a comprehensive support system that empowers individuals and communities to lead healthy, productive lives. Together, we can build a society free from the burdens of HIV and gender-based violence, where every individual’s rights and well-being are protected and nurtured.