In 2009, the Project began to support HIV prevention activities in Changarawe through the establishment of a Peer Education programme. The decision to engage in this area came from the needs and expressed desire of the local community.
The programme began with the training of students from Mongola Secondary School, as well as a number of community members. Participants learned about the transmission, prevention, treatment and care of HIV/AIDS, as well as other sexually transmitted infections. They learned about the main drivers of the epidemic in Tanzania and ways of communicating information through theatre.
Since its inception, the group has broadened its subject matter to include many key health, lifestyle and social responsibility messages, including female genital mutilation, and they conduct regular educational performances at schools and community events. Jonas coordinates their activities and organises travel, costumes and props.
The group is also trained in home-based counselling, and supports the CDO staff in paying home-visits to families affected by HIV. As well as counselling families on proper care and nutrition, these visits help to reduce the stigma often felt by HIV sufferers within the community.