THE Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council (BDAIDSCouncil) has reached out to 15 schools, universities and higher education institutions since January 2018.
“More than 2,000 students have participated in the HIV/AIDS Awareness Programme for Peers and Youth (HAPPY), within the first two quarters of 2018,” said Kailene Kashfi, Vice President for Programme of BDAIDSCouncil and team leader for HAPPY programme.
“This April alone, we reached out to Arabic School in Kuala Belait, St George’s School, Chung Hwa Middle School (BSB) and St John’s in Kuala Belait.
“We have covered all districts, including Temburong, and our HAPPY team is aiming to continue this reachout project to support BDAIDSCouncil’s vision and mission, which is towards an AIDS-free Brunei society and empowering the public on HIV and AIDS through advocacy and education,” she said.
The HAPPY project is supported by the Health Promotion Centre of the Ministry of Health.
“In addition, we also encourage Public Private Partnership (PPP) to support us to actively engage with the community, especially students during our HAPPY programmes. Such collaborations have been very successful, for example with Royal Brunei Catering (RBC), McDonald’s Brunei and Escapee Brunei, which have sponsored vouchers for students who won quizzes during the HAPPY programme.
“Based on collective feedback from students and teachers, this incentive encourages participants to be more interactive and engaging during the HAPPY session; increases attention span which results in a more effective learning and understanding on HIV/AIDS issues.
“We continue to encourage the private sector and businesses to engage with our advocacy works as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) which will benefit in terms of empowering our community with HIV/AIDS and its related issues. Therefore, we welcome any sort of collaborations which are deemed beneficial for everyone,” she said.