“The coordinators of our charity work in Uganda were very excited to see the videos." – Dr. Darren Creek, Coordinator for Let the Needy Smile
Raising public awareness about HIV and AIDS is a major activity of Let the Needy Smile (LTNS), a local community-based organization that is dedicated to HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and healthy living. In 2011, LTNS integrated the TeachAIDS software into their educational efforts to teach hundreds of children and young people.
Coordinated by dozens of volunteers, LTNS began in 2008 as an outreach effort through the Evangel Church in Tororo, Uganda. The villages surrounding Tororo are densely populated and home to many children orphaned by HIV and AIDS. Approximately 6.5% of the population is currently living with HIV and AIDS and 1.2 million children have been orphaned by the epidemic.
Most orphans in Tororo are cared for by extended family members or neighbors, but attending school tends to be out of reach to many. While government schools are free, they still require books, pens, and uniforms. Such costs are beyond the means of many families there.
LTNS works to provide necessary school materials and place orphans with no homes into permanent residences. The organization has devised numerous strateties to bring hope to individuals by ensuring that children can more easily access high quality education.
Given that HIV is the leading cause of premature deaths in Tororo, leaders at LTNS are intensely focused on improving educational outcomes. In particularly, they are actively taking steps to improve the livelihood of families in remote villages by encouraging individuals to arm themselves with information on testing and treatment facilities. To promote this further, LTNS uses village outreach events as a way of creatively providing basic information about communicable diseases. The crusades are organized alongside church groups and other local authorities to encourage best practices among all community members. At each event, HIV and AIDS education materials are more broadly presented. Most recently, these presentations were standardized to include TeachAIDS software as a primary educational component. While electricity, computers, and projectors are not always available, LTNS has successfully shared the TeachAIDS content with at least three remote villages in Tororo.
TeachAIDS applauds the tireless efforts of the entire staff at LTNS. We look forward to continuing to support their outreach efforts.