We are training them to become Community Music Leaders to thousands of children and young people affected by HIV in Uganda. The program will build on existing services and further enhance the quality of psycho-social support being provided at Alive Medical Services.
The training is based on our ongoing program in Rwanda, drawing on the successes and knowledge developed since 2010. Members of our training team include Rwandan community music leaders who join as assistant trainers.
Globally, there are 5.4 million young people living with HIV, most of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa and disproportionately who are young women. While the number of global AIDS-related deaths fell by 30% between 2005 and 2012 (largely due to expanded access to HIV treatment), deaths among adolescents increased by as much as 50% during that same time period. AIDS is the number one killer of adolescents in Africa and the number two killer of adolescents worldwide, after only traffic accidents. Young people are falling out of care, stopping treatment, getting sick, and dying. We are failing this generation – the generation that is our future and that has the potential to see the end of AIDS in their lifetime.
Fred Mbalu works as a music coach in our new program in Uganda. He teaches a wide range of traditional instruments, dance, and drama. He trains the youth leaders in our program, preparing them to work with thousands of vulnerable children and young people.