30 January 2018

Namibia: HIV Prevention Workshop Held for Offenders

Lüderitz — Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO)'s youth development officer Ivan Mueze recently conducted a week-long information-sharing workshop at the Lüderitz Correctional Facility, for offenders, in an effort to prevent and reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in prison.

Mueze who facilitated the workshop explained OYO is busy educating prisoners in correctional facilities around the country, with the intention to give information on HIV transmission prevention, testing and treatment.

Lüderitz Correctional Facility is one of the beneficiaries of the OYO project funded by OSISA. Mueze said they train offenders as peer educators to be able to train new inmates and sensitise them on HIV/AIDS.

He said the information about HIV transmission prevention is being facilitated through drama and dance in order to spread the message effectively. During the workshop, the facilitator also created a performance on drug abuse.

The organisation aims at using art, both visual and performing, with young people in order to create social awareness and thereby to decrease the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other social problems such as domestic violence, rape and alcohol and drug abuse among the youth in Namibia.

Mueze indicated his organisation has lined up activities all over Namibia. "While we still do a lot of work around HIV prevention, we also work on teenage pregnancy, gender-based violence, alcohol and drug abuse, stigma and discrimination," he stated.

"We work with a lot of schools, unemployed out-of-school youth and offenders in correctional facilities."

OYO will soon visit schools in Lüderitz, with another project to be funded by Stichting Horizon. This project promotes self-esteem and encourages learners to take their schooling seriously. It involves peer education and it will involve performances by Koes Youth and Bethanie Youth Group.


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