Operation Mercy runs life skills courses in schools, colleges and universities throughout Almaty and in the surrounding regions. We teach on HIV and AIDS awareness, anti-human trafficking, suicide, abortion and drug and alcohol awareness.
Our expertise and knowledge in teaching on HIV and AIDS especially, is well known in some parts of local government departments as we have been doing this well for several years.
Recently there was a change in leadership in one such government department and we were trying hard to renew our memorandum of understanding (MOU) to do our workshops in the educational institutions with the new leadership. During this time, new stats were released showing that the number of new cases of HIV was increasing. This gave the incoming leaders an impetus to renew their awareness and education on the disease. They issued us with a new MOU and asked us to renew our work with them in training of teachers and students!
Recently the education department invited our Operation Mercy facilitator to their regional teachers’ conference to run HIV and AIDS training. Through a series of workshops 1,500 teachers were trained in two days in the regions close to Almaty. These teachers now have the correct knowledge of the cause, prevention and treatment of the disease as well as the hope that can endure even when someone is infected and how stigmatization is unnecessary and can be prevented with knowledge.
There are now 1,500 more teachers who have been empowered and equipped to teach their students about HIV and AIDS!
This is an excellent example of how our NGO can widen the government’s “umbrella of care” to its people and assist in it being able to achieve its objectives. Our hope is the same as that of the departments we work with, that this training will make a lasting impact in communities throughout the region to build capacity and restore hope in many lives.