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AMAL Human Development Network
Activities and Programs

Successfully Completed Projects:

1. HIV/AIDS in the Workplace: Training under the Agent of Change Programme for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Staff in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Information about the spread of HIV/AIDS is inconsistent and difficult to access, so presenting the facts clearly is vital. This project successfully delivered knowledge and awareness of the disease to professional and community groups in direct contact with populations at risk. It focused on the staff of the United Nations World Food Programme in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

How the Project Worked

Country trainers participated in a six-day regional Training of Trainers in Egypt sponsored by the WFP
Through the medium of four languages (English, Urdu, Pashto and Dari), they trained the WFP staff of Pakistan and Afghanistan about HIV/AIDS and how to access treatment and services.
They also trained staff members to understand fully the UN’s HIV/AIDS policies in the workplace. These include ending discrimination against HIV/AIDS sufferers and enabling staff members to take informed decisions about how to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS.

2. HIV/AIDS Training and Outreach Programme

This four-year project, supported by Catholic Relief Services Pakistan, reached out to women, young people and religious institutions across Pakistan. The aim was to integrate HIV/AIDS into existing programmes and activities so that it becomes part of the development agenda.

How the Project Worked

In the first cycle, we strengthened and supplemented HIV/AIDS prevention and counselling services in three rehabilitation centres for drug abusers.
In the second cycle, we set up youth information centres in formal schools run by the Catholic Board in nine locations in Punjab.
In the third cycle, we targeted organizations working for women’s employment and minorities in all the four provinces.
In the fourth cycle, we conducted training of trainers for students of religious institutions (madrassas) in HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support, and stigma elimination and set up youth information centers on the madrssas premises.
The outcome was 370 Master Trainers who provided information and support to 8,500 direct and 25,000 indirect beneficiaries

3. Food and Nutrition for People Living with HIV/AIDS in Karachi

People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) can improve the quality of their lives through healthy eating. Yet healthy food is sually expensive and often out of reach of poor HIV/AIDS sufferers. This project found a solution in soybeans, which are cheap and nourishing. With support from the American Soy Association and working in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Pakistan, AMAL identified, networked and trained 25 PLWHAs to improve their diet.

How the Project Worked

We distributed a monthly ration of soybeans to each participant and guided him/her on how to turn them into nourishing meals
We assessed the health of each participant when he/she joined the project and monitored it again after five months

4. Youth Empowerment Skills (YES) Rawalpindi.

This project, which ran from 2001-2, pioneered the approach used in the current YES Quetta project. It brought about an understanding of the threat of HIV/AIDS through a comprehensive life skills, vocational training and health awareness programme for the vulnerable young people of the area of Gowal Mandi. The programme was sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

5. Mastoor

Focusing on voilance against women and HIV/AIDS in the area of Gawal Mandi, Rawalpindi, the project integrated human-rights, health awareness with life skills and vocational training, gender sensitization, counselling services and community development. The project was sponsored by OXFAM.

6. Life Skills Training Manual for the Ministry of Women Development, Social Welfare and Special Education, and UNICEF Pakistan

Given its experience in the area of life skills training, AMAL was commissioned to deliver the manual for this project. The manual addresses the broad spectrum of interpersonal skills: rights awareness, communication skills, confidence building, decision-making skills, knowledge of health and reproductive health.

7. Adolescents’ Sexual and Reproductive Health Project “Knowledge, Attitude, Behaviour and Practices Assessment Study”

Without investigation of what young people know and how they feel about the issues of sexual and reproductive health, it is almost impossible to design an effective programme against the spread of HIV/AIDS. AMAL looked in depth at three districts: Mansehra, Chakwal and Vehari in partnership with PLAN.

How the Project Worked

We took sample data from 469 adolescents aged 11-19. They all came from a low socioeconomic background in the three targeted districts. Males and females were sampled in equal numbers. The data was compiled and analyzed using FoxPro.
Our findings showed that the majority of respondents had knowledge within an average range. We found that those with adequate knowledge held some misperceptions.
We concluded that effective sexual health education for adolescents needed further study of their daily pattern of activities. It also required that parents and teachers should be educated to pass on accurate information to children and students.

8. Consortium for Street Children
Street children across the world are human rights casualties. What is needed is a concerted campaign to uphold their rights within juvenile justice systems. The AMAL team studied the situation in specific countries to identify key problems in mobilising national and international pressure for upholding the human rights of street children.
 

Ongoing Projects:

Life Skills Training and Youth Empowerment

To deliver effective messages about the danger of HIVAIDS to the young people most at risk in Pakistan’s overcrowded inner cities means more than delivering treatment and prevention services. Young boys from poor families are among those most vulnerable to sexual exploitation in the turmoil of city life. These boys lack education, even an understanding of the basics of health and sexuality. They also lack economic power since many of them are employed for long hours in the workshops and factories of unregulated commercial areas. Girls in domestic employment face the same risk of abuse by unscrupulous adults.

For this reason, AMAL projects embed messages about the risk of HIV/AIDS in the life skills training programmes it offers these youngsters. Identifying a range of linked objectives, the life skills approach is designed to develop interpersonal skills such as the ability to communicate, negotiate, take decisions and think critically. The aim is to build self-awareness and the capacity to deal with emotional stress. Life skills enable individuals to translate knowledge, attitudes and values into action, thus helping to make them socially and psychologically competent.

Life skills empower young people by educating them in human rights, training them in self defence and the ability to defend their point of view, and teaching them vocational skills. Skill building in this wider context enables them to understand the life-threatening nature of HIV/AIDS and take action.

 

Youth Empowerment Skills (YES!) Boys

Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, is the largest centre for automobile spare parts and carpet weaving in the province. Child labour is widely practised in these workplaces; children also work in garbage depots and homes. Many of the boys are Afghan refugees; most are paid between Rs 5 and 10, much less than $1 a day. Since young boys at work are often the victims of physical, sexual and drug abuse, training in self-protection and life skills are as essential to their wellbeing as emotional health and counselling services.

Rana Gulzar, Project Manager of AMAL’s YES! Quetta project, has an unusual range of experience. He has worked on capacity building and health education in 70 districts of Pakistan with approximately 300 NGOs/CBOs. His work on peer education with working boys in Quetta has won him two awards: from the Goi Peace Foundation, Tokyo and the World Peace Prayer Society. A documentary on his life and work, “How Can Youth Work to Stop AIDS around the World?” made by EDC (Health and Human Development Programs), USA was shown to 2,500 delegates at the Youth Employment Summit in India in 2003.

How the Programme Works

The programme targets boys between the ages of 10 and 17.
Boy labourers are selected and trained as peer educators. They receive life skills instruction which they then pass on to other young people in the same situation.
Training includes self-protection, assertiveness training, and knowledge of the child rights’ convention.
Drop-in centres provide emotional health and counselling services.


 

 
 
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