HAPPY (HIV Awareness Programme for Peers & Youth)

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HAPPY (HIV Awareness Programme for Peers & Youth)

Project Summary
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HAPPY: The project that spreads HIV awareness including knowledge on teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections throughout the 4 districts in Brunei Darussalam.

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What is the primary problem your venture is trying to address and how are you addressing it (or planning to address it)?

The primary problem we are looking at is the increasing number of HIV/AIDS cases in Brunei. In 2006, the number of local HIV/AIDS cases in Brunei was 30. It jumped to 41 as of June 2008, an increase of over 36% in 2 years. The number of Sexually Transmitted Infections in Brunei has jumped to an all-high 480 cases in 2006. This is quite a significant number for a 380,000 Muslim-majority population in Brunei.
Sexual related matters which include teenage pregnancy and condom usage are sensitive issues in Brunei. Due to this, Penyinar Club, the youth division of the NGO, Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council, led by the Sentient Team devised a roadshow education programme for young people called HAPPY (HIV Awareness Programme for Peers & Youth). (A pilot programme started in 2005 and finalised as HAPPY in 2008 under [email protected] Competition, a local project proposal and implementation competition)

Project Description

HAPPY: The project that spreads HIV awareness including knowledge on teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections throughout the 4 districts in Brunei Darussalam.

Unique and different

The project is unique/different due to:
1) the facilitators being young people, with ages 25 years and below.
2) it is a truly youth-initiated project with the youngsters completely involved in the entire organising, raising funds, finding suitable partners etc
3) it is not just your regular "AIDS awareness talk", but a 2 1/2 -3 hour progrmme that combines videos, audio, visuals, games, songs, jokes, debates and even comic strips to pass the message to young people!
4) the courage to do the unimaginable – i.e. openly doing an HIV Awareness project in a conservative Muslim community. (HAPPY has done it! =)

Project plan

The project has been to more than 13 places which (reaching out to more than 500 young people) which includes scouts, girl guides, students and even parents and mosques! While some places expressed their interest to do the 2 1/2 - 3 hour programme again at their place, next target will also include the young uniformed cadets which includes soldiers, police and firefighter cadets.

The daily schedule of the programme is:
1) Spiritual activity: prayers
2) Group activity: Ice breaking
3) Video clip: decision making
4) Video clip: Don't turn your back on AIDS
5) Quiz: HIV/AIDS Basics
6) Presentation: What is HIV, AIDS, how to tell infection
7) Group Activity & Presentation: How does HIV spread?
8) Presentation: HIV prevention and myths
9) Discussion: ABCDE approach
10) Sharing session: global and local statistics including interesting facts
11) Spiritual: Islamic view of HIV & AIDS
12) Video: AIDS-The largest humanitarian crisis
13) Debate: 6 questions on HIV & AIDS
14) Discussion: Sexually Transmitted Infections & Teenage Pregnancy by an invited medical facilitator
15) Video: family values
16) Activity: Self-reflection
17) Feedback


This programme has created partnership between young people and the Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council (an NGO), various government ministries, Girl Guides, Scouts and even with teachers and parents alike. Not forgetting the young people whom we have reached out to, and who have even offered to join us!


This project has broken the silence surrounding the taboo topics of HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, though it is not intentionally lobbying for an age-specific, comprehensive, formal sex education to be introduced in Brunei.


We have reached out to more than 500 young people from all over the 4 districts in Brunei Darussalam, in the most impressionable age range of 14-30 years, regardless of religion, race or gender. (excluding pilot period)

How do you engage and impact the community?

Through our persistent presence in the media, which includes newspaper coverage of our roadshows, radio interviews, TV interviews and even on some TV programmes and the evening news, people/community become aware of the topic.

How do you measure this impact?

From the feedback given by the participants, which includes questionnaires we gave out, email feedback etc which are mostly positive and their desire to see the programme being done in more areas, all over Brunei. As a result of this project, more government agencies are opening up other taboo social issues.


Time and money constraints as we are still students and young employees, with commitments to our work and studies. Our tight budget has to cover transportation, educational material printouts etc.

Financing source
(or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)

Mainly through sponsors and support given by Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council (though the AIDS Council is also a non-profit organisation)

Aside from financial sustainability, how do you plan to grow and sustain your project?

More young volunteers and peer educators will be trained to ensure this project sustain itself, even after the 'seniors' leave for other commitments.

Finance details

In 6 months, we have raised financial sponsorship of approximately USD$1,000. Most of this has been used to print educational materials and purchase a portable audio system for the project. Currently, there are 5 official members (Sentient Team): Iswandy (24 years old) as the team leader/main facilitator, Zulfadhli (22 years old) as the treasurer, Nisah (19 years old) as the secretary, Ajib (23 years old) as the logistics coordinator and Ashley (17 years old) as the support member.
An invited facilitator who is a medical doctor, specialising in sexual health and who volunteers his time for the project as technical/medical facilitator.
Standard Chartered Bank also ‘donated’ an office space, which we use to hold our meetings and use as a resource centre. The Ministry of Health also supports by providing leaflets on the health topics we address.

Creative funding

We have used the media (e.g. newspaper, radio etc) to convey messages to interested companies and individuals to sponsor us and this has contributed to half of our collection. The rest is from government assistance. In the future, we plan to sell value added articles/ materials for funding e.g. stationeries, clothes etc

Other non finance needs

We urgently need a projector and a laptop for the presentations to be displayed. So far, we have been using projectors lent by the AIDS Council and a laptop which belongs to the team leader.

The Story

It was sad to see so many young people around who are 'uninformed' about HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections due to being taboo topics not talked openly by our community. They were looking for information from the internet, friends and other less reliable sources. Due to these, my team and I took the initiative to create a youth-led programme that 'speaks' the same language as youths. A programme made by youths, for youths.


Penyinar Club of the Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council (which the Sentient Team is volunteering also) has won the Commonwealth Youth Silver Award 2005-2006 & 2007-2008 awarded by Commonwealth Youth Programme, Asia Centre for the youth club and their HIV awareness initiatives.

Broader context

It is hoped that this project will be an 'eye-opener' for the sexual health situation in Brunei. It is used to be believed that HIV is a health problem, which is no longer true. HIV and its related matters is a development and social problem. Since Brunei is still a developing country, this may hinder that development.


I hope to be in an agency that deals with this work as it is my passion to empower young people and myself, as I believe that empowered youth is better than the riches that we have.

What is your age?


How did you hear about this competition?

From an email forwarded by a friend