Mfuto to put more energy on fight against HIV/AIDS
Yolokazi Mfuto, a University of Fort Hare political science Honours Student got a huge opportunity in July to partake in the 22nd Aids conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Mfuto is a partial scholarship holder from the organisation, Youth against Aids and was also funded by the MEC of the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mr Lubabalo Mabuyane. The Youth against AIDS is a youth initiative led by school students and college students that provides sexual education in schools and youth facilities throughout Europe. It addresses issues about sexuality, HIV, and other STDs in their workshops. It also provides a space for young people, in which they can express any lack of knowledge without being ashamed.
The main purpose of the AIDS conference to young people globally is to create collective understanding of the dynamics of living with HIV/AIDS. Also it intended to conscientise young people of their role in breaking barriers and building bridges in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The program facilitated internationalisation of HIV/AIDS education, thereby providing opportunity for young people to prepare and create an HIV/AIDS free society in the near future.
“Prior to attending the conference I expected to learn more about different strategies that have been employed by other countries in the fight against this deadly disease”, said Yolokazi.
Since the initiative targeted university and college students from across the globe to discuss, about the challenges faced by young people such as sexuality, HIV, and other STDs, “My intention was to get more information and strategies of creating a community where sexuality never leads to exclusion, fear or stigmatization”, she said.
“My achievements from this conference spread across the interactions I had with various people from all over the world. We shared ideas and different insights on the state of HIV/AIDS in our different countries. This has enabled me to take some strategies and implement them in my own communities including my campus”, said Mfuto.
“Activate and galvanize political commitment and accountability among governments, donors, private sector and civil society for an inclusive, sustainable and adequately financed, multi-sectoral, integrated response to HIV and associated confections and comorbidities”, she pleaded.
Mfuto believes that the experience and the knowledge she gained from attending this conference will enable her to convey the message to other young people.