Empowering girls to fight HIV and AIDS

28 November 2008

On World AIDS Day,  1 December, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) spread the word: girls worldwide say “stop the spread of AIDS , malaria and other diseases”. This message is the new theme for World Thinking Day, linked to United Nations Millennium Development Goal 6. 

WAGGGS is encouraging its members to start planning themed events in their communities in time for 22 February 2009. While being fun, inclusive and informative, these events will also raise money to contribute to the World Thinking Day fund and vital WAGGGS projects, including those aimed at addressing issues surrounding the spread of diseases.

WAGGGS has developed a number of resources to help girls and young women explore the issue of contagious diseases. Information is on the World Thinking Day website. In keeping with the fundraising aspect of the campaign, a special survey about the importance of money, developed with Plan UK is also on the site.

Call to action

Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are also encouraged to join the call to action for World AIDS Day: “Tell 10 girls 10 facts about AIDS The fact card is available with an array of useful information and a quiz.

HIV and AIDS training toolkit

To help empower young women to protect themselves against HIV infection, to advocate in their communities and to fight stigma and fear, WAGGGS has introduced its innovative new HIV and AIDS training toolkit.

The toolkit, developed by girls and young women, combines case study material alongside activities that have proved successful in several countries around the world: Brazil, Peru, Malawi, Kenya and India. WAGGGS received funding from UNAIDS to develop this project. The resource has been  distributed to all 145 WAGGGS Member Organizations and an international training programme is being developed. It is available for purchase on the WAGGGS online shop.

Focus on girls and young women

WAGGGS’ work on HIV and AIDS focuses on women and young girls as they are more physically vulnerable to contracting the virus. Also, in many countries they have limited control over their sexual health and less access to education and HIV information which puts them at greater risk. Armed with accurate and useful information about the disease and its prevention girls and women can protect themselves and help reduce the spread of the virus.

WAGGGS Chief Executive Mary Mc Phail, says: “We believe that education and empowerment of young people in formal and non-formal settings is a key approach to fight HIV and AIDS, with special attention paid to the needs of girls and young women.The toolkit is a great resource to increase our capacity to train girls and young women on HIV prevention and stigma reduction.”

More resources

WAGGGS’ AIDS badgeA wide range of approaches are included in WAGGGS’ campaign to fight against HIV and AIDS such as the AIDS Badge curriculum, launched in partnership with UNAIDS and ICASO in 1999, the advocacy work based on the slogan girls worldwide say “fight AIDS and support for projects carried out by Member Organizations around the world.

TheAIDS Badge Curriculum provides background information and activities for different age groups in the three areas: prevention, care and support and Human Rights – changing attitudes.

Your comments

View newest comments first View newest comments first

cassidy - 2 December 2008 - 5.18AM (GMT)

This is a really good idea for them to do. Since the girls can learn about aids and more diseases to.

Busiswa Mdluli - 2 December 2008 - 10.35AM (GMT)

Together we can make it,lets keep on fighting these diseases. Here we are saying to win it start with ME!and so may it also start with you there! Yes we can!!!

Renee Bianchi - 3 December 2008 - 2.35AM (GMT)

Congratulations on taking a huge step forward in trying to beat the stigma attached to HIV, AIDS and other diseases.

To have the ability to be involved in something so worthwhile is just one of the many reasons I am a member of this worldwide organisation.

Julia Nduta - 17 December 2008 - 2.42PM (GMT)

This is a great initiative to all people especially in this era of HIV/Aids to the young & also the youth. Great idea that will enlighten on the knowledge about the disease.

annette - 19 December 2008 - 6.12AM (GMT)

I found this information to be very informative and I will be sharing this will my girls and working on the activites involved in the cirriculum in the up coming year when they become age specific.

Troop 3880(Rosalyn Stiles) - 11 March 2009 - 2.20PM (GMT)

We are the Daisy Girl Scouts, Troop 380, We are from Saint Louis, missouri. On World Thinking Day we thought of you. We are so glad to hear you are helping women and girls to be aware and informed of Aids.

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