Friday, November 29th was full of fun and learning. Joined by a team of five energized professionals from Deloitte Papua New Guinea, Links of Hope brought its health education program to the Kaugere community.
In honour of World AIDS Day (which falls on December 1st each year), the Links of Hope Community Nurse guided an activity for caregivers, urging the importance of early HIV testing. Studies have shown that Undetectable=Untrasmittable, aka U=U. The earlier a person knows their status, the earlier they can enroll on antiretroviral therapy (ART, medication for HIV). If a person living with HIV adheres properly to their ART, then they can reduce their viral load so much that it is undetectable. At this stage, it is extremely difficult to transmit the virus to another person, whether that is a sexual partner or one's child. So the earlier one tests and goes on ART, the earlier they can reduce their viral load and protect loved ones.
But the real fun was had with the kids! The Deloitte team prepared several activities surrounding nutrition and healthy lifestyles. The 37 children created colorful pictures of fruits and vegetables, learned about (and got to eat) lots of healthy snacks, and saw how fun exercise can be by playing relay games. Forming a love for an active and healthy lifestyle at an early age can be key to a healthy and full life. At Links of Hope, we believe that children should be encouraged to play and learn about nutrition so that they have agency over their health and decision making.
We are incredibly thankful for the generosity of Deloitte for choosing to spend their Impact Day with Links of Hope and for supplying the children with nutritious snacks and goodie bags. We look forward to working together in the future! An additional thank you to Kaugere Foursquare church for hosting us.