Youth Empowerment in HIV/AIDS Intervention in Zambia: The Role of Grassroots NGOs
Mukupa, Grace Chobela
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HIV/AIDS drastically affects Africa's youth. As there is no cure for the disease, education and prevention programs have become vital in decreasing HIV/AIDS death and infection rates. In 2006 UNAIDS declared that schools held the largest concentration of children, therefore, school-based HIV/AIDS prevention programs were the most efficient and effective method of fighting this epidemic amongst young people. Previous analyses have also shown that in Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people who will be in need of treatment in future years could be drastically reduced if comprehensive prevention programs were implemented (Salomon, 2005). In most African countries, governments have struggled to effectively implement and sustain HIV/AIDS prevention programs in schools. This has led to many grassroots and nongovernmental organization stepping in with different methods to combat HIV/AIDS. In this research project, I identified problems at the intersection of youth and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa and then analyzed the grassroots NGO Rescue Mission Zambia (RMZ) as a case study. I assessed how the organization is dealing with HIV/AIDS prevention programs among the youth in Zambia. My findings show that RMZ has played a significant role in the current HIV/AIDS education programs among the Zambian youth. However, financial support remains an open question, and in order to sustain the organization, funding will be needed from both local governments and private institutions.