Today, Namibia has one of the highest prevalence rates of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the world. The HIV prevalence in the general population is estimated at 13.3%. More than one-in-five adults are HIV positive, and AIDS is one of the leading causes of death and hospitalizations. The HIV epidemic has left almost 150,000 children orphaned, meaning they have lost one or both parents due to HIV and face dire psycho-socio and economic challenges as a result.
The Peace Corps Community Health and HIV/AIDS Project (CHHAP) focuses on responding to the HIV epidemic and supporting the healthy and positive development of Namibia's population, especially among the youth. The project focuses on building youth friendly health services and reducing stigma and discrimination at the community level in order to improve access and retention for HIV care and treatment services. Volunteers work with youth in schools and across their communities, improving sexual and reproductive health education, economic and nutritional resilience, and adoption of healthy lifestyles. They are encouraged to collaborate with other Volunteers at post (i.e business and education) to implement community health and HIV/AIDS programs at their sites. In many cases CHHAP Volunteers will be paired with another CHHAP Volunteer as well as local partners.
Peace Corps Namibia, most notably though our CHHAP Volunteers, is a proud partner of the U.S. Government’s interagency global HIV/AIDS relief initiative, PEPFAR. PEPFAR in Namibia provides unparalleled support to the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) and other non-governmental organization partners. CHHAP Volunteers are considered to be an important piece of this massive effort in Namibia working towards an AIDS free generation.
Namibia is home to one of the strongest and best-coordinated HIV/AIDS relief efforts in Southern Africa. We are making progress in this fight, and we believe that an AIDS-free generation is possible within our lifetimes. So this is an exciting time to join the Peace Corps Namibia team of Volunteers and staff, and be on the front lines in efforts to eliminate new HIV infections and to achieve major public health advances for those who need them most.
Examples of common primary project activities for CHHAP Volunteers:
• Conduct health promotion education sessions in various public settings on a variety of topics, depending on community priorities (e.g. alcohol dependency; nutrition; healthy lifestyles)
• Assist in creating demand for HIV counseling and testing
• Working with young mothers to prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child
• Promote and encourage vulnerable populations, including youth to access HIV treatment and other services, and support them to stay on treatment and maintain healthy livelihoods through training on gardening skills and economic strengthening
• Provide learning support, life skills education, and psycho-social support to orphans and vulnerable children through afterschool clubs and school youth camps
• Assist in the implementation of the national Integrated School health and life skills program
• Promote youth-friendly health and counseling services at health clinics
• Develop, update, and promote health information using proven behavior change communication tools and materials
• Assist counterparts in planning and conducting community and regional health events (World TB day, World AIDS Day, World health day, immunization campaigns, etc.)
• Conduct topical trainings for clinic and community health workers, as well as school staff to more effectively promote positive health behaviors
Peace Corps Namibia promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges in your country and you will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During your service, you will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and facilitate empowerment programs designed to ensure that both the girl and boy child learn the new paradigm together. As part of your work, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.
Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
Prohibits paid work outside of the sponsoring agency at any time
Subject to criminal background check