Like most 15-year-olds, Timothy has a big dream for his future.
“Music is my life. I know a lot of music, and one day, I will become a musician,” the young Ugandan proudly exclaimed.
Timothy is also HIV-positive and a client of Reach Out Mbuya Parish HIV/AIDS Initiative in Kampala. He was one of approximately 70 other young clients who attended Reach Out’s “Power of Hope” camp for HIV-positive youth and adolescents from the 30th of January to the 3rd of February.
The camp sought to increase the adolescents’ psychosocial wellness, reduce stigma, and empower the youth with psychosocial and economic skills they could use in the future. Activities included group dances, songs, and skits about life with HIV and stigma, and the youth gained practical skills in candle-making and arts and crafts, helping combat high rates of youth unemployment in Uganda.
Reach Out Mbuya community workers have noted that some HIV-positive youth experience neglect at home or are rarely praised by their family members. The camp thus aimed to help the adolescents build self-esteem through recognizing youth for their participation in activities and teaching them that everyone has valuable qualities. The camp also included small group discussions on positive living with HIV and adherence to ARV drugs.
Read more here on the Reach Out Mbuya Blog!