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Building leadership among the indigenous populations in rural Guatemala to create a sustainable response to HIV and AIDS
V. Tomás, R. Morales
It is well known that including the beneficiary population in all the stages of the education and prevention programs is one of the keys of success. This becomes very difficult when working with little empowered populations, historically marginalized from quality education services and not being aware of their own vulnerability. Moreover, international agencies and donors seem to be more concerned by numbers than by processes and long-term sustainability of the projects.
The resources dedicated to prevent HIV/AIDS among the indigenous populations in Guatemala in a culturally appropriate way are minimal, partly due to considering rural Guatemala as a low HIV prevalence area.
Proyecto Payaso is a small organization that runs education and prevention programmes through theatre with indigenous communities in Guatemala that have very little access to quality education and health care systems. It also has the commitment of developing leadership and strengthen the capacities among its beneficiaries, in order to build a wider and sustainable response coming from the grass roots to the pandemic.
We have to recognize and pay attention to traditionally marginalized voices (women, youth, indigenous, PLWHA, LBGs and others) and legitimate alternative ways of expression, organization, education, and different cosmogonies.
It is vital to build leadership at the community level through training, empowerment, and through giving to the community access to positions where they can be active part of the decision making processes.-
Theatre has demonstrated to be a good strategy to build leadership.
– Promote the dialogue between indigenous communities and associations, HIV/AIDS organizations and governments.
– Give free and universal access in Guatemala to HIV testing, as a way to raise awareness and enhance the need of creating a stronger response to HIV/AIDS.
– Create mechanisms to increase the capacity of small organizations, centered in field work, to raise funds and run sustainable projects.
AIDS 2006 – XVI International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. CDE0508
“V.Tomás, et al. Building leadership among the indigenous populations in rural Guatemala to create a sustainable response to HIV and AIDS. : AIDS 2006 – XVI International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. CDE0508”