Botswana Business Coalition on AIDS (BBCA) peer educators engaged in a project that disseminated HIV/AIDS and wellness information in different companies in Francistown and Palapye district recently.
Employees were addressed on Multiple Concurrent Partnerships, Consistent Condom use and Safe Male Circumcision. This was to strengthen private sectors’ role in managing and combating the spread of HIV and AIDS.
BBCA Manager Frank Phatshwane commended peer educators for a job well done.
“We use peer education as a strategy for behaviour change and for the general promotion of health and wellness in the workplace. Our contract with peer educators has come to an end but we still need their service to reach more companies.
In 15 months of this project we spent approximately a million pula.
We are still dealing with ignorant people and from the feedback we got there are a lot of people who are involved in MCP and inconsistent use of condom.” Said Phatshwane
One of the peer educators John Merapelo said BBCA has helped him to gain experience and acquire skills.
He is proud to have contributed in changing people’s behavior.
‘I was unemployed but with the little I got from BBCA I managed to provide for my family.
We just hope donors will come on board to fund this project so that we can continue taking HIV and wellness messages to workplaces.’ He said
Sharing a success story, Thapelo Tlhakole from Builders World said that BBCA and peer educators have helped his company to become more aware of the importance of addressing HIV/AIDS issues.
He said currently they are working on implementing an HIV/AIDS policy with the support and assistance of BBCA.
Builders World has also provided red tags which employees wear on their shirts every Fridays to show that they are an HIV/ AIDS sensitized and aware organization.
Tlhakole also said the company has set up a library section where employees can access and read information on HIV/AIDS.