HEART’s goal is to saturate rural Kenya with the prevention message of HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, Typhoid, and Hepatitis B and testing for HIV through Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT). HEART volunteer teams travel throughout rural Kenya teaching age appropriate messages to adults, youth and children simultaneously. Seminars about HIV transmission separate facts from myths and encourage alternatives to traditional African lifestyles which facilitate the spread of the disease.
HEART seminars are often the first exposure to basic disease and prevention facts. All teachings are based on basic public health messages and Christian principles. Participants eagerly attend HEART’s free sessions, ask many questions, and express gratitude for the teaching. All adults receive a HEART health manual written in both English and Swahili, which becomes a health resource manual for their family. The acquisition of knowledge is evaluated by pre and post tests. HEART believes that education is the best vaccine for HIV/AIDS. HEART has been given favor with the Kenyan government officials. HEART also receives assistance through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and partners with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for the VCT.
The 2 -3 day village-wide health education seminars (HES) with Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) for HIV has reached many areas of Kenya. Since project inception, 80 seminars have been conducted in various areas including Meru, Taveta, Taita, Kisumu, Kericho, Kisii, Nyamira, Tombe, Nakatch and Magadi; and several urban slums around Nairobi including: Kibera, Mathare and Kasarani. Overall, the program has served more than 140,500 participants since 2000.
Based on seminar feedback, our strategy to teach adults, youth and children simultaneously, about the process and prevention of disease transmission, prevention and care focusing on HIV/AIDS, has been embraced by the communities of Kenya. HEART VCT counselors were trained and participated in oral testing for HIV, newly introduced to Kenya oral testing for HIV. This testing does not require a blood sample.
Opportunities to Make a Difference
The seminars are the heart of the HEART effort to reach rural Kenya, and there is an opportunity for you to join us as a team member and be a part of this outreach in person. Let us know if you are interested in joining or building a team to partner with us in a seminar. Each seminar costs HEART approximately $1500, and the VCT another $500. This means that for seminars hosting 2,000 people it costs us just over $1, per seminar attendee, to provide life saving education, and behavior changing HIV testing that is impacting the nation of Kenya.
• Sponsor 1 health seminar: $2,000.00
• Sponsor 5 health seminars: $10,000.00
• Sponsor 10 health seminars: $20,000.00