The MTV Staying Alive Foundation supports youth-led organisations from across the globe that want to join us in the fight against the spread of HIV. With small grants that are renewed for a period of up to four years, our young leaders help create awareness about HIV within their communities, using a language and style that they know appeals to the young people surrounding them. This week, to celebrate World AIDS Day, we are looking back with some of them as their grant is coming to an end.
YUWA is a youth-led organisation from Kathmandu, Nepal. For the past four years, our HIV prevention project has been funded by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation – it has been nothing but a wonderful learning experience!
When we received our first grant from MTV Staying Alive, YUWA was only one year old. The support from the foundation has created numerous invaluable avenues for our organisation to grow and prosper.
Thanks to the funding from MTV Staying Alive, we have been able to disperse HIV awareness messages to thousands of young people in Nepal, both in urban and rural communities. Through our school and community outreaches we have reached young people from 50 colleges and 15 youth clubs in Kathmandu Valley. In addition, our yearly ‘Red Ribbon Caravan’ – an HIV awareness roadshow passing remote mountain villages – has educated youths from 400 community schools in 40 rural districts about HIV and safe sex.
In four years’ time, we have created a pool of empowered young minds. Together we can bring about true change and stop discriminatory behaviour towards people living with HIV. The fact that MTV Staying Alive’s support comes to an end this year, does not mean our activities will do so too. YUWA will move forward and continue working to create HIV awareness and build a community free of discrimination. We have built a large network of dedicated volunteers who will help us to sustain our impact.
We are also looking to develop new, innovative approaches to attract new local and international partners. All in all, the support from the MTV Staying Alive Foundation has been a stepping stone for YUWA and has enabled us to grow into a strong, confident youth organization at the heart of our community. YUWA will be marching onwards, embodying the aspirations of young people in our country.