Mary Lyn Field-Nguer (Washington, DC)
I am so pleased to have the opportunity to be in Zambia which I have visited many times since the 90s to work on HIV, to now provide technical support to Creative’s USAID-funded initiative – RTS, or Read to Succeed. The project is working to improve learner performance in Zambia with a particular focus on early grade reading in 12 districts in 6 provinces, primarily rural areas. The project is building teacher capacity, strengthening teacher assessment and learning related to the teaching and assessment of student reading, and improving learner support through HIV prevention and life skills education, community engagement, and guidance and counseling system development. If children are able to read, it will be easier for them to grasp information that can be provided to them – RTS will help to further their ability to protect themselves. We will help communities know how to talk about HIV.
I feel especially fortunate to be here, on World AIDS Day, when awareness of the impact of HIV in all sectors of Zambia is high. I am so pleased to see that many of the strategies that are at the heart of RTS – girls’ education, prevention of SGBV, life skills teaching in schools, community engagement – were highlighted as sound approaches to HIV prevention in the newly released PEPFAR Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-free Generation, released this week by the State Department. We hope you enjoy the following posts from our dedicated and committed staff working to save lives, educate communities to stop the spread of AIDS and improve health.
Mary Lyn Field-Nguer, Senior Associate for Health, Creative Associates International