|Youth Peer Education - Future Plans
A workshop on 'Youth Peer Education - Future Plans' was organized by Indian Red Cross Society, National Head Quarters in collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies at Chennai from 19th - 21st of May 2004. The aims of the workshop were: -
To strengthen the Youth Peer Education Program for prevention/control of HIV/AIDS among youth and
To unify the Youth Peer Education Programs supported by Federation and American Red Cross under its Global AIDS Program respectively in to a single program and plan its future interventions
The workshop was inaugurated by Thiru K. Deenabandhu I.A.S, Project Director, Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society in the presence of Dr.(Mrs.) Vimala Ramalingam, Secretary General, Indian Red Cross Society and a host of other dignitaries from IRCS Tamil Nadu State Branch, International Federation, American Red Cross and Canadian Red Cross. During his inaugural address, Mr. K. Deenabandhu stressed the need to focus on young people, as they were presently being seen as the epicenter of a possible HIV/AIDS catastrophe. He promised all support and assistance to the IRCS programs to help prevent it. There were a total of 45 participants in the workshop which included the Honorary Secretaries of the target districts viz., E. Godavari, Mehaboob Nagar - Andhra Pradesh; Pune & Akola - Maharashtra ; Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Dharmapuri - Tamil Nadu, besides program personnel and counselors implementing the program in the respective schools/colleges.
After the inaugural function, the workshop sessions commenced with the introductory session which dealt with -short introduction of participants, their expectations from the workshop, objectives of the workshop, meaning of life skills and peer education. This was followed by a series of sessions which dealt with the present status of the Youth peer program supported by the Federation and the American Red Cross. On the following day a synthesized project plan was developed and discussed. Detailed activity plan for the year 2004-05 was drawn. Further to this, feed back and discussion on program tools - training manual, baseline survey and reporting formats was undertaken. The last day of training was kept aside for streamlining and strengthening of the financial systems. The sessions were facilitated by Dr. Manan Ganguly (IFRC), Dr. Timbray (American Red Cross), Dr. Nisha Gupta (IFRC), Mr. Suneet (IFRC) and Mr. Jaison Thomas & Mr. Ganapthy ( IRCS, NHQ).
The presence of the Secretary General, Dr.(Mrs.) Vimala Ramalingam through out the program added meaning, enthusiasm and inspiration to the program. The workshop ended with a short valedictory function during which Dr. (Mrs.) Vimala Ramalingam gave away the certificates to all the participants and exhorted them to carry forward implementing the program activities with sincerity and commitment.