The Reality of AIDS:
In the remote highland community of Kuari, Pastor Yikwa leads a congregation of 250 people. Its sister church has 800 members. And there are only 1,100 people in the village! Although nearly everyone goes to church in Kuari, Pastor Yikwa says many youth and young adults engage in high risk behaviors. AIDS creates fear in the church. And the community is awash in rumors and misinformation.AIDS: Threatening to Wipe Out a Generation
The eastern province of Papua – formerly Irian Jaya – has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the country. According to a 2006 government report, 48 percent of Papua’s population had never heard of AIDS.Without immediate intervention, it is projected that 7 percent of Papua’s adult population will be HIV-positive by 2025 and 166,000 children will be orphaned.
The rapid spread of AIDS is the biggest issue facing the Dani tribespeople of Papua’s remote Tolikara region. AIDS affects every community in Tolikara and has spread to other remote districts surrounding the interior hub town of Wamena. There is a lack of essential medical services, and there have been no HIV testing centers in Tolikara.
In March 2009,World Relief launched Mobilizing for Life, its church-centered AIDS program. World Relief trains local volunteers to raise AIDS awareness, educate their communities about AIDS, and promote abstinence and marital fidelity.Prevention Education
World Relief has translated its Mobilizing Youth for Life
curriculum into Bahasa Indonesian and contextualized the curriculum for the people in Papua.
Staff train and equip volunteers so they can teach
youth in their communities about AIDS, abstinence and God's plan for healthy
relationships. Youth are taught through forums, Sunday schools, and
community-wide events. To reach the most remote areas, volunteers use
solar-powered MP3 players with behavior change messages recorded by local youth.
Through the Mobilizing Youth for Life curriculum, World Relief trains local
teenagers to be the voices that cry out in their embattled communities –
voices of hope in the face of a formidable foe.
These youth volunteers believe their task is perhaps the most important of their generation.