AIDS Foundation empowers young women, girls


AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF Nigeria) has empowered young women and girls on info-graphic technology to enable them become skillful and relevant in the present digital world.

Mr Steve Aborisade, the Advocacy and Marketing Manager, AHF Nigeria, stated this at the Data Visualisation Training (Info-Graphic Technology), in Abuja on Monday.

Aborisade said the programme, ‘STYLE UP’, has two components: Girls Act Initiative, and Boys 2 Men.

The training however comes under AHF Girls Act aimed at empowering young women and girl in a digital society.

He explained that the participants would have the requisite skills to advocate on issues that form challenges to the full realisation of their potentials and well-being through the medium of info-graphics.

“It is important to work with young women and girls because they are a marginalised group and disproportionately affected by the countries disease burden, poverty and lack commensurate opportunities as boys and men.

“The data visualisation training will empower them with skills to take advantage of new opportunities modern technology offers for self-sustenance and to strategically advocate issues paramount to them while attracting the needed solutions.

“We hope to see young people who are able to use the knowledge of data analysis and interpretation to bring solutions on issues that affect them such as negotiating safe sex, sexual and reproductive health services and other life choices,” he said.

Aborisade further added that the knowledge acquired would also enable them use graphics to instigate actions, interpret ideas and to suggest solutions while becoming empowered to make a living through offering those services to others.

The facilitator, Mr Bamishe Aregbeshola, a Communication Strategist, defined info-graphics to mean information and graphics through representation of information in a graphical manner.

Aregbeshola said the training was aimed at how participants can acquire the prerequisite knowledge on how to use info-graphics to communicate the ideas that they have to their peers and community.

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He stressed that research had shown that it was a lot easier to pass information through videos and graphics as people tend to understand them better compared to when processed in text.

“The way the brain maps information, is that the mind picks pictures faster, however with text the mind has to translate the text into pictures first, so it takes a longer time for the mind to interpret such kind of information.

“The training will effectively empower them to go into their communities and optimise the use of the new media to effectively communicate to people faster and better.

“The world is fast growing into digital world and in terms of skill acquisition it is important that everyone acquire a prerequisite knowledge on digital skill in irrespective of their line of work to stay relevant.

“The government can create more platforms for young people to learn in order to improve on their skills as well as pupils in secondary schools and universities to help in researches and presentations,” he added.

Ms Anita Ikwe, a participant, commended AHF for the training, saying the training will enable her find new ways of identifying problems in the society and better ways of disseminating information through graphics.

According to her, “the training will help me immensely especially on issues relating to people living with HIV and AIDS.

“It will enable me use graphic approach to identify problems and disseminate information on issues of self-discrimination, disclosure, adherence and other challenges persons living with HIV are encountering”.

Another participant, Mr Uhoma Chizom, said the training would be of great impact as it would help him speak up for people in his community, and to become the voice of Africa and Nigeria.

Chizom appreciated AHF for equipping young persons and helping them come out of their dark spots, while giving them the passion and boldness to work and be relevant.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is providing HIV treatment in 43 countries including Nigeria to over 1 million patients and presently operates in six states in Nigeria.

It is the largest HIV and AIDS organisation in the world.