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Working with Caribbean Youth Joan Didier Commonwealth Peoples Forum HIV and AIDS Workshop.

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Presentation on theme: "Working with Caribbean Youth Joan Didier Commonwealth Peoples Forum HIV and AIDS Workshop."— Presentation transcript:

1 Working with Caribbean Youth Joan Didier Commonwealth Peoples Forum HIV and AIDS Workshop

2 CVC Who? A coalition of primarily frontline civil society organisations and individuals working in rights-based HIV prevention, treatment, and advocacy

3 CVC Where? Many territories in the Creole, Dutch, English, French and Spanish speaking Caribbean Guyana Haiti Jamaica St. Lucia Suriname Trinidad and Tobago …among others Bahamas Barbados Belize Curaçao Dominican Republic Grenada

4 CVC Who do we work with? Youth in Especially Difficult Circumstances Orphans and Vulnerable Children Men who have Sex with Men Refugees, deportees and undocumented persons Sex Workers Substance Users and Those in contact with the criminal justice system

5 Our Main Focus Especially Vulnerable Populations subject to hostile stereotyping unable to publicly challenge their status possess little or no social protection systems to remedy their treatment

6 Our Main Focus Especially Vulnerable Populations may be excluded because they take part in behaviour deemed –a social problem –delinquent –criminal

7 Issues facing Caribbean Youth Highly valued in talk but not necessarily in practice Often deemed –a social problem –delinquent AND –criminal

8 Issues facing Caribbean Youth Early sexual initiation (esp for boys) High levels of teen pregnancy (also a proxy for unprotected sex)

9 Issues facing Caribbean Youth In a region with high levels with inequality, children and youth make up substantial numbers of the poor

10 Issues facing Caribbean Youth High levels on inequality in education sector as well – schools for the poor have a disproportionately high rate of failure at end-of-school exams

11 Issues facing Caribbean Youth Youth living in poverty are also often faced with gang and other kinds of violence, associated with the drug trade or with poor conflict resolution skills

12 Issues facing Caribbean Youth Often turned away from SRH services by workers who believe denying youth information about sex will prevent them from engaging in sexual activity

13 Issues facing Caribbean Youth AIDS case rates bear out the cumulative effects of such vulnerability in a context of a growing epidemic

14 Reported AIDS Cases: Age x Sex

15 Diversity of Youth Often see youth through our own lens Creates even greater vulnerability for youth

16 Diversity of Youth Youth includes –Children and young people living with HIV –Children and young people who are same-sex loving –Children and young people who are migrant workers in fields –Youth on the block –Children and youth who are deeply religious and abstain from sexual activity

17 Programming for Youth HIV Prevention programming for youth is often spotty and underfunded Government –Health and Family Life Education –Some access to SRH in public health system

18 Programming for Youth Civil society: Often where most innovation comes from Often take holistic approach SRH but also support for schooling, after- school and out of school programming

19 Programming for Youth St. Lucia Planned Parenthood Ass. Peer counseling HIV/AIDS training to out of school youth Life skills training to girls 15-20 yrs Linkages to youth Advocacy movemant SRH education

20 Trinidad - FPATT De Living Room Specialised service for persons between the ages of 14 to 25 Stigma-free, youth positive environment (staff specially selected) Access to information and SRH services, including contraception Linkages with Youth Advocacy Movement

21 Haiti - FOSREF Free services that include: 11 youth clinics operating throughout eight departments (states) of Haiti street theater presentations peer educators and volunteers counseling and psychological services, voluntary counseling and testing for HIV, family planning, gynecological care, treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and laboratory tests

22 Haiti and Jamaica Youth Media 10 groups of youth trained in radio and print to write and broadcast on HIV and SRH issues in Haiti One group of children living with HIV trained in radio and print. Children advocate on their own behalf on issues such treatment and care and stigma and discrimination via the media.

23 Youth broadcast – Panos Haiti

24 Jamaica –3 Cs Focus on youth in extreme poverty After school homework support Drumming and drama club Parenting classes and support Computer and other income-generation classes Situated with the target communities and employs young people from the community in all its departments, including finance

25 Closing Thoughts Donor support for youth has been uneven From our perspective, youth have also not been well served by project approach and by donor territorialism Need to act on well-founded concerns about youth with a renewed commitment to action

26 Closing Thoughts True youth-inclusion in decision making and programme implementation is critical to effective programming Young people must be given access to contraceptives and information

27 Gracias Merci Mèsi anpil Dank je wel Danki Thank You

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