HIV AND AIDS: DEAF AWARENESS Accessibility and understanding of HIV/AIDS information for Deaf learners in Gauteng Schools
ANOVA is a engaged in a wide range of HIV prevention and treatment programmes across South Africa, specifically in Deaf awareness.
About Your Organization
ANOVA Health Institute
South Africa, GT, Johannesburg
Country where this project is creating social impact
Is your organization a
Non‐profit / NGO / Citizen sector organization
Your role in Education
The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with
How long has your organization been operating?
More than 5 years
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Start-Up (a pilot that has just begun operating)
How long has your solution been in operation?
Operating for less than a year
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
The HIV and AIDS epidemic continue to increase in sub Saharan Africa and SA is mostly affected with current statistics bordering on 5,6 million infected persons in a population of 56 million. Information on abstinence, being faithful and condomizing are in printed text and in audio formats in the media and awareness campaigns. The reality of the situation is that the majority of Deaf South Africans cannot access the information nor understand it due to a number of issues…The aim of this project is to ensure that Deaf learners are equipped with adequate correct information on HIV and AIDS to aid in the struggle to combat the epidemic here in SA to ensure a culture of tolerance, acceptance, understanding and support is created in the schools for the Deaf.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
Providing information on HIV and AIDS in South African Sign Language (SASL) which is in an accessible format for Deaf people to access and understand. The project output is a DVD on basic HIV AIDS information and a mini electronic dictionary which explains the terms in HIV and AIDS to assist Deaf learners to grasp what the epidemic is and how to avoid risk behaviours and show empathy and support to those learners infected and affected.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
Currently in schools for the Deaf Life Orientation / Life Skills is being taught as a subject. On establishing the initial baseline it came to light that most learners in the Deaf schools senior phase between the ages of 15-19 do not have a clear understanding of what HIV AIDS is and how it is transmitted and often discriminate, bully and tease other learners who disclose due to the fact that they are not adequately informed on HIV AIDS. The project focus on information sessions with learners in each school and facilitate workshops, information sessions and camps with learners to ensure a better understanding of HIV and AIDS. Many learners in the schools come from households which are infected and affected with the virus, and in some cases they themselves are infected. The knowledge of knowing how to disclose and how to accept the status is of utmost importance. Other Deaf learners are also made aware of how to support the positive learner and how to be safe around such a learner. Currently most Deaf learners simply shy away and tease and bully others once it comes to light that they are either infected or affected. This project aims to cultivate a spirit of knowledge, understanding and support to self and others in the schooling environment and beyond.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
Currently the Department of Basic Education is writing a curriculum for SASL to be introduced in all public schools. The challenge is the known fact that there is a huge hiatus in resources, specifically in the field of HIV and AIDS. Currently SA use borrowed materials from other developed countries such as USA and the UK to convey HIV AIDS messaging. The literature landscape on HIV and AIDS are conservatively non-existent for Deaf people and this project aims to start scratching the surface on producing materials which are in accessible format to ensure that Deaf people, as a language minority, have access to HIV AIDS information. An additional challenge is the reach of this project because of finances and limited resources the project can only reach 2 Deaf schools out of 41 Deaf Schools.
Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
ANOVA is engaged in a wide range of HIV prevention and treatment programmes across South Africa, specifically in Deaf awareness.
Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
Releasing a unique, premier DVD and a mini electronic dictionary on HIV and AIDS to provide access to all SA Deaf people.
This Entry is about (Issues)
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
On pre and post evaluation of Deaf learners understanding on HIV and AIDS information it is evident that a greater percentage of learners are now adequately informed on what HIV and AIDS is and how it is contracted, thus minimising their risk behaviors. There is a greater understanding among learners and thus also an increased support system for leaners infected and affected.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
The project overall goal is to ensure life skills modules being made available in the mother tongue of Deaf learners, in SASL, to ensure the next generation of Deaf adults are well informed of the issue on HIV and AIDS, which could lead to an anticipated decline in the reported number of infections.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
HIV and AIDS is still a contentious issue between the Department of Basic Education (DoBE) and the Department of Health and Social Development (DoHSD). There are ongoing opposing views on introducing the subject matter in the life skills module in schools. This barrier is indeed a major obstacle because in some Deaf schools educators are covering the module of HIV and AIDS and ensure that the school environment have visual aids clearly showing HIV and AIDS messaging. With this research we plan to present to the departments the facts and negotiate an approved submission that it be made compulsory for all Deaf schools to be able to train Deaf learners in the life skill module on HIV and AIDS.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Instruction in HIV and AIDS manuals in 70% of the schools of the Deaf.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Conduct the baseline in schools for the Deaf in Gauteng to establish the level of access and understanding of HIV and AIDS
Target at least 2 schools for the Deaf in Gauteng to conduct monthly information sessions, 2 workshops and 1 camp
Select HIV/AIDS champions from the camps to train and groom them to become facilitators on HIV/AIDS information in deaf schools
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Present a concise intervention and action plan to assist the DoBE to make an official statement on HIV/AIDS in deaf schools
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Conduct national survey on post intervention and compare statistics on baseline
Have an information session with officials from the DoBE on the urgency of introducing HIV/AIDS education in deaf schools
Prepare resources and visual aids such as DVD on HIV/AIDS information to ensure that they're available in SASL.
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
Having been active in the Deaf community and particularly in Deaf schools I had one incident of loosing a young boy to an early death of HIV related illnesses. Looking at him on his death bed not having the understanding of the disease and his inability to express what it was, and why he could no longer live a healthy happy life, broke my heart into a million pieces. I vowed on his funeral that I will engage and try to save other young lives by ensuring the information reach them before it is too late and by saving more lives with information and so try to construct my heart again, my reconstruction of a million pieces begins with information reaching only one learner, step by step. I realised that making information accessible and available to the Deaf they can have knowledge to end the vicious cycle of this killer epidemic.
Tell us about your partnerships
Department of Education and Department of Health and Social Development are both key strategic government departments. The department could assist in passing official legislation on approval of education of HIV and AIDS information in schools for the Deaf and thus make an indirect demand on treasury to assist in allocating of finances for such and intervention.
What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]
It is envisaged that a team of at least 20 permanent employees could make a significant impact with 2 project implementation officers in each of the 9 provinces in SA where we have Deaf schools, 1 project manager and one project director whom will manage project implementation, operations, finances, reporting to donors and stakeholder/partnership liaiso
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
Support from qualified educators in sign language from either USA or UK who can assist in sharing of experience, knowledge and best practice in classroom education specifically in relation to HIV and AIDS.