According to UNICEF, in 2009 5.6% of the population aged 15 to 49 was HIV positive in Tanzania. The HIV Awareness projects at Art in Tanzania are established to educate the local community. Through the project, volunteers provide free information about HIV and AIDS, about its causes and effects, prevention, available medication and treatment, nutrition and general ways to healthily cope with the virus. Volunteers organise seminars for the community in Dar Es Salaam and Moshi for locals to attend for free. It may also be possible to visit schools, nurseries and clinics to talk about HIV Awareness. Volunteers also arrange HIV-testings for locals in villages and schools, with help of local doctors.
For this project it is important that the volunteers are well informed about HIV and AIDS. Art in Tanzania does provide volunteers with information and materials that the volunteers will find useful, but we look for volunteers who themselves are committed and dedicated to the project. The participants will ask many questions, and it is important to be able to answer them in a clear and concise manner. As HIV and AIDS are not often openly spoken about, the volunteer needs to feel comfortable discussing and advising people in matters related to HIV and should create an atmosphere where it is easy to talk about the topic.
Volunteers are asked to plan, prepare and conduct the seminars themselves by deciding the time, determining what materials to include in the seminar and handing out flyers to the locals. Our staff is able to assist when necessary, but this project requires volunteers to also work independently. The resources for this project are minimal, but Art in Tanzania provides the volunteers with a training packet to help with preparation and the location to have the lessons. The seminars are conducted in English, but Art in Tanzania assists in finding a Swahili translator, making the seminar more comprehensible for the majority of the local population.