Advocating stronger links for the battles against illiteracy and HIV/AIDS in Bardiya
An innovative UNESCO textbook to help women in Nepal’s mid-and far-western region to learn read and write and, at the same time, become more aware about HIV/AIDS was recently presented to a group of stakeholders working in the field of HIV/AIDS and Education in Gularia, the headquarters of the Bardiya district.
The material was designed in the Doteli and Tharu languages for spouses of migrant workers in the Doti and Bardia districts to increase their literacy skills and to impart knowledge on HIV/AIDS, develop healthy attitudes, and instill skills for healthy decision making. So far, 2,000 women have benefited from the pilot project.
Ishor Raj Poudel, the Local Development Officer of the District Development Committee in Bardiya said: “The project aims primarily at improving the women’s knowledge of HIV and AIDS and of safer sex practices to protect themselves.
“It will also contribute to make those affected by HIV and AIDS better accepted in their families and communities. I believe that we should adapt the concept of linking literacy and HIV/AIDS to our programmes.”
UNESCO Representative to Nepal Axel Plathe said: “The materials are tools in the battles against both illiteracy and new HIV infections. They are part of a larger strategy to strengthen HIV and AIDS education on the one hand, and literacy approaches, on the other hand.”
The Bardiya workshop on 7 December was chaired by Bhakti Prasad Subedi, Bardiya District Education Officer. Tap Raj Pant of the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu highlighted the objectives and main features of the project and Manoj Bhatt, HIV and AIDS focal point facilitated the workshop.
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