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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Community Dialogue- Kenya

The AIDS LAW PROJECT herein referred to as ALP is a non-governmental organization which works exclusively to promote equal rights and justice for people living with HIV & AIDS. ALP focuses on using legal strategies to advance health rights for people living with and affected by HIV & AIDS.  It was founded in 2007 by Kenyan lawyers whose desire was to give back to society, through applying their legal expertise in assisting people living with HIV & AIDS to acquire equal rights and treatment. The vision at the AIDS LAW PROJECT remains to create a supportive environment that enhances and upholds human rights to health, enhanced living, protection and participation of People Living with HIV& AIDS.

The Millennium Development Goals which are the eight global development goals that were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000 are set to run out by 2015.  In 2010, the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the MDGs requested the Secretary-General to initiate thinking on a post-2015 development agenda. Beyond 2015, this new framework will replace the MDGs and set the agenda and policy-making processes in UN member states around major development issues such as poverty reduction, health, education and more.

ACT 2015 an initiative of the CrowdOutAIDS has one goal which is to get as many voices in a movement building initiative that aims to secure a post-2015 development framework that advances the sexual reproductive health rights and HIV response for young people. In light of the same, the Aids Law Project Kenya in partnership with the ACT 2015 held a community dialogue with young persons drawn from diverse backgrounds to discuss among many things the reality of sexual reproductive health rights available to their communities. The community dialogue took place at the Aids Law Projects offices located off Ngong Road along Menelik Road in Nairobi from 11:00-1:00 Pm on the Friday 29th November 2013.This date was uniquely chosen to commemorate the World Aids Day which fell on Sunday 1st December 2013.http://www.crowdoutaids.org/wordpress/

The purpose of the dialogue was to share stories around sexual reproductive health rights and especially the level of awareness of participants and their communities around the subject matter. Participants were also encourages to brainstorm on potential solutions and inspire change for action. It was noteworthy to mention that a majority of Kenyan youth are aware of some basics on sexual reproductive health. This has been majorly commended by the government initiative to have HIV & AIDS as a compulsory unit in all fields of study in institutions of higher learning. The same has also been supplemented by incorporating Sex Education in lower levels of education notably within secondary and primary schools nationally. Despite having structures in place it is counterproductive in the sense that most university students will not attend any of the ‘extra’ classes and many lectures would opt out from even giving these lectures. The same is seen in some secondary and primary schools too. Implementation of sex education and HIV & AIDS classes remains largely problematic.

Despite several gaps that were identified from the community dialogue it is prudent to point out that the Aids Law project in collaboration with ACT 2015 feels very encouraged that more and more groups are having and hosting such similar dialogues and are discussing, sharing and continue to endeavor to have sexual reproductive health rights as part of the post 2015 framework.



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