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USAID Announces Youth-Focused HIV/AIDS Programs in Ethiopia
Date:7/1/2008

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a $500,000 grant to the YMCA of the USA to combat HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. The program will provide youth access to basic HIV prevention education and vital medical services and improve existing care and prevention programs in five underserved communities in the cities of Addis Ababa and Adama. It will also build community networks by means of youth-led volunteer services. The program is funded as a part of President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and YMCA has agreed to leverage matching resources at a ratio of at least 2:1.

Approximately 2.2 percent of more than 80 million people in Ethiopia are HIV positive, and, according to Ethiopian authorities, over 880,000 children have been orphaned as a result of AIDS. In order to confront this mounting crisis, the YMCA AIDS Volunteerism and Community Engagement (ADVANCE) program seeks to improve the health knowledge and practices of 50,000 youth and young adults between the ages of 10 and 29, as well as provide care and support services for 5,000 orphans and vulnerable children in these communities by July 2011.

The aim of the program is to educate and empower young people from within the community to raise awareness and compassion for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, as well as for orphans and vulnerable children. YMCA will recruit and train hundreds of Ethiopian youths to become peer educators who will spread prevention and care information, work towards building a strong sense of community, and refer members of the community to health facilities.

Youth education and recreation programs hosted at participating YMCA branches in Ethiopia will be expanded and improved upon in order to provide both life-saving information to and a reliable safe haven for those suffering from or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. YMCA will cooperate with local schools, community leaders, and soc
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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development
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