Bamako: Educational Research Network for West and Central Africa, 2006. 50 p.
With support of UNESCO Institute for Education, Hamburg, Germany
This paper is concerned with the need to address the fact that with over 5 per cent of the population of Nigeria infected with HIV, and the adult mortality rate continuing to rise, Nigeria is now at a potentially explosive stage of the epidemic. In particular it is concerned with the role of Non- Formal Education (NFE) in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS. It begins by first outlining the numerous positive steps taken by the following organisations: the Nigerian Government, the education sector, Federal Parastatals, civil society, non-governmental organisations and donor agencies. Key target populations are then identified to clarify how HIV/AIDS preventive education can be integrated into existing NFE programmes. Three case studies on the Association for Reproductive and Family Health then follow showing how NFE can rapidly communicate HIV/AIDS prevention messages, effecting lasting behavioural change in people of all age groups and social classes, literate or not, and providing real hope of controlling the spread of the virus. The first case study is concerned with The Expanded Life Planning Education Project (ELPE) a programme of NFE in schools dealing with human development, relationships, sex, family life and personal skills. The goal is to improve the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents in Oyo State, and it concludes in particular that young people acting as peer educators can be agents of change if their skills, talents and energies are properly channelled. The success of the second project, "HIV surveillance in four markets in Oyo State", is significant in that market communities represent all social classes with a large number of their members being non-literate. The third study, aimed at promoting positive reproductive health practices amongst out-of-school youth in Yemetu, an indigenous community with characteristics of a poor urban environment, illustrates that core traditional communities can be affected positively. With over 500 NGO´s using NFE approaches to combat the spread of HIV in Nigeria there is a clear need for their efforts to be coordinated. The paper concludes with an inventory of the main NGO´s and agencies using NFE interventions in Nigeria.
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