We are one of our community’s oldest and most active NGOs and we work to create a stronger community through projects that involve or affect all the people of our island.
On Friday the 5th of April, for the occasion of World Health Day 2013 (April 7th), Naifaru Juvenile through the SHE-Core + Initiative hosted a Health Festival for the local residents of Kurendhoo Island to raise awareness of health and social issues, regarding drug awareness, reproductive rights, gender-based and domestic violence, HIV and AIDS educations, career guidance, and general hygiene.
The team from Naifaru Juvenile comprised board members, staff members, local and international volunteers, plus three expert facilitators – two young professionals from Male, and a doctor from Naifaru. They all made the journey to Kurendhoo in the early morning last Friday to set up the location at Lh. Atoll School, ready for an activity-filled afternoon. Juvenile staff members invited all local residents to receive information on a range of health issues, and set up information desks outside the school to hand out leaflets and give advice.
The proceedings began at 2pm with a speech from the Chief Guest, the principal of Lh. Atoll School, Nizam, followed by Juvenile’s chairperson, Nashid, who both spoke a few words about the purpose of the festival, and thanked everybody for attending, with Nizam expressing his gratitude to Naifaru Juvenile for organizing the events.
The first seminar of the day was run by Dr Faisil, and was a HIV awareness session for students in grades 8, 9, and 10, from 2.15pm until 3.30pm. This information does not form part of the curriculum at school, and so was a fortunate opportunity for the teens to learn about what HIV and AIDS are and what the difference between them is, how they are spread and how they can be prevented.
The second workshops at 4pm, one was a Life Skill Session for the grade 8, 9, and 10 students and the other was a religious lecture for students, parents, and teachers. Aminath Reema from Naifaru Juvenile ran the Life Skills Session, with assistance from Mohamed Shaneel who led the students in some energizer and ice-breaker activities to warm up the room and encourage participation. The students were informed, and talked about anger management, stress management, communication, problem solving, assertion and self-esteem.
A religious lecture at 4pm was delivered by Saikh Mohamed Moosa, and was concerned with personal hygiene and the importance of personal hygiene for maintaining good health.
After an afternoon break, where visitors and residents alike were treated to a beautiful sunset and a cool evening breeze, the sessions recommenced at 8.30pm. Juvenile staff members took advantage of this time to meet the locals, riding around the island on scooters to reach those who hadn’t passed by the information desks – handing out leaflets and fielding any questions about the topics.
From 8.30 until 11pm Adam Issam, from Voice of Women, conducted a Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Domestic Violence (DV) awareness workshop for the teachers of Lh. Atoll School. The session was very interactive; Issam encouraged as much participation as possible, and had the participants on their feet in a character exercise, and in small groups brainstorming, exploring how preconceived notions of gender and sex can affect our gender relations, and the specific problems faced by Maldivian women, in an effort to uncover possible causes of gender-based violence in our society. The session was designed to encourage the teachers’ active awareness of student behavior in their classrooms and at home, and how as teachers they can both respond to current situations and influence their students positively – to begin to treat the symptom and the cause of GBV and DV.
Concurrently, Mohamed Shaneel from the National Career Guidance Centre was running a career counseling session for the grade 8, 9, 10 students. They took this time to fill out a booklet which helps to match their interests and talents to job skills – to try and identify which areas they could best work in once they finish high school. Shaneel’s session was also interactive, encouraging participation and discussion to help the young adults open up and share their thoughts.
The Health Awareness festival was funded through Naifaru Juvenile and the SHE Core + Initiative, and Naifaru Juvenile is pleased to have this opportunity to extend such access to health education throughout Lhavianyi Atoll.