Life Skill Development Through Training Bolsters AIDS Prevention

By FredrickHobbs

HIV/AIDS is now globally a very fearful phenomenon. It is an extremely complicated social concern demanding an unparalleled response from all sectors of development effort. The latest statistics shows that 5 million adults and children were living with HIV/AIDS only in Asia in the end of 2007. If we consider all the socio-economic aspects comprising cultures and practices of the third world, it is the very worthy place for spread of HIV/AIDS. Most of the people of developing countries like Bangladesh are constantly experiencing poverty related social challenges within the unbearable cruel situation. They have not enough life-skill to cope with social disaster or epidemic like HIV/AIDS due to the curse of their impoverishment. If their livelihood development is not ensured they will be turned into a great burden to their own nation and country.

Lacking of life skill fuels poverty. On the contrary, poverty creates favorable environment that people do not get proper opportunity of having adequate access to knowledge, information and general health care as well. As a result, poor people’s life skill is not developed. So they are easily getting vulnerable to different social problem, for instance, being infected with HIV/AIDS and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). If we want to turn this unskilled people into valuable human resources we have to provide them necessary life-skill through comprehensive and consecutive training. As per the findings of the research on life skill development of the people vulnerable to HIV/AIDS/STDs initiated by Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallayan Foundation in 2008, if life skill training is provided to target groups through peer education approach, 90% participants are able to change their behavior leaving bad practices in their daily lives, get aware of their health rights as well as gain confidence for facing any social challenges existed.

It is undoubtedly necessary to set up the very priority to unlock the value of neglected human resources. Well-defined training program obviously need-based may play significant role in this regard being integrated with core program AIDS prevention. Under this training program, the regular staff and volunteers employed by the development and community based agencies will be well-equipped with latest information, knowledge, technologies, approaches, methods, strategies and policies to conduct, supervise, monitor and evaluate HIV/AIDS prevention program. If the workforce is not groomed up in such prospective way, the result will be reversed.

Already it has been twenty-seven years into the epidemic. But HIV/AIDS is moving forward wildly and making challenges more and more vicious for our development efforts. The 2008 Report on the global AIDS epidemic shows that it is very much essential to scale up universal involvement to HIV prevention emphasizing on human resource development through widening life skill of the vulnerable people. We would like to build an appropriate world of skilled human resources. So we have to place a blue print to make the poor have enough access to treatment, care, and support by 2010. Otherwise it would be very much difficult to contain the spread of AIDS. In that view, we have to take urgent steps to intensify HIV prevention by way of sustaining the gains in human resource development consecutively. According to the report of various surveys on community people’s vulnerability to reproductive health oriented ailment initiated by BEES (Bangladesh Extension Education Services), training in the name of regular courtyard meeting at the community level is very helpful to develop life skill of the target group efficiently.

Target groups as well as stakeholders should be geared up to deal with any social disaster and distress. Most of the people especially the adolescents in rural areas are not properly aware of their reproductive health oriented rights. They may be literate but they do not properly know that what the severe consequences of HIV/AIDS are. Several studies give an idea that more than 80% of the rural adolescents do not know clearly what HIV/AIDS is. So they have to have enough life skill shaped by latest information, knowledge and awareness to cope with the social disaster HIV/AIDS. Thinking over this pivotal point, life skill development training and education through peer leading approach may get more attention to make them potential human resources effectively.

Anirudha Alam is a prominent human resource development specialist and trainer. At present he is working in a national NGO and community centered national organization named Bangladesh Extension Education Services (BEES) as a Deputy Director (Information & Development Communication) and Trainer. He is the Executive Board Member of Bangladesh Project Management Institute (BPMI) a training & research organization as well. He writes and edits more than forty books and a good number of articles on various issues like human resource development, training, community development & mobilization, women empowerment, human rights, education awareness, social development, income generating activities, environment awareness, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS awareness, juvenile literature, short stories and so on. His noteworthy books are Kulsums and Karims (a collection of success stories of disadvantaged community people of Bangladesh), Kulsums (a collection of success stories of disadvantaged & destitute community women of Bangladesh), The Reflections (a collection of posters on literacy & education of Bangladesh), Towards a New Hope, Social Assistance Message Collection, Social Assistance Advocacy Manual, Eaisab Rat Din (a collection of juvenile poems), Du Sha Bachharer Sera Bangla Kishor Galapa (a collection of juvenile Bengali stories of two hundred years) etc.