Project HOPE, a global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, was awarded over $663,000 by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a United States foreign aid agency, to help the Namibian Ministry of Education improve its response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Project HOPE is partnering with Creative Associates International, a US-based nonprofit organization, and Legal Assistance Center, a Namibian nongovernmental organization, in these efforts.
With an estimated HIV infection rate of 13.5% among those aged 15-49, Namibia has one of the highest burdens of HIV/AIDS in the world. Approximately 40% of new infections in Namibia in 2010 were among young people aged 15-24, 60% of them young women.
“A multi-sectored response is crucial to the HIV prevention effort supported by governments and the donor community, so there is a need for HIV/AIDS prevention messages at all levels of the education system,” said Steve Neri, Project HOPE’s Regional Director for Africa.
It is estimated that one in seven Namibian educators were infected with HIV in 2002. Teacher absenteeism in Namibia is mostly due to chronic sick leave (46% of all leave taken) and funeral attendance (31% of all leave).
The Namibian Ministry of Education has established a special program to provide life skills and HIV/AIDS education to students at school. Project HOPE and its partners will assist the Ministry of Education by developing a curriculum and training materials of recommended practices and guidelines. These materials will not only include recommended prevention messaging, but will also contain guidelines about matters related to teachers who are infected with HIV.
“The Millennium Challenge Corporation Grant will allow us to support the HIV and AIDS response in the Ministry of Education including addressing stigma and discrimination that persists for HIV infected teachers,” said Mr. Aseth Tjipepa, Acting Chief of Party for Project HOPE Namibia.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an innovative and independent U.S. foreign aid agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty. Created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004 with strong bipartisan support, MCC is changing the conversation on how best to deliver smart U.S. foreign assistance by focusing on good policies, country ownership and results.
Project HOPE has several active programs in Namibia. HOPE works closely in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Services in support of tuberculosis control. The organization also leads an effort in Namibia to improve the well-being of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in partnership with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare.
Elsewhere in Africa, Project HOPE directs ongoing health programs in Cameroon, Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania. HOPE also recently sent a team of medical volunteers on a U.S. Navy ship to deliver care and health training in Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, Togo and Liberia.
About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health crises, with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now conducts land-based medical training and health education programs in 35 countries across five continents.
Geraldine Carroll Tel. 540-257-3746 firstname.lastname@example.org
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