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United Nations Relations

AIDS Day Events in Kenya Focus on Promoting Abstinence

Nairobi, Kenya - Timing their visit to coincide with World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, 2013, two women from Switzerland made a two-week tour of Kenya to teach an HIV/AIDS-prevention program that focuses on premarital abstinence.Nifa Isalano, a longtime HIV/AIDS-prevention activist, and Chantal Chételat Komagata, secretary general of UPF-Switzerland, shared the WAIT Training Curriculum with university students and young people across Kenya.

The two women began their national tour at Kenyatta University, the second-largest educational institution in the nation, located in a suburb of the capital, Nairobi. There they presented the UPF lectures on HIV/AIDS prevention to about 100 students specializing in community-based development.

The next stop was the town of Eldoret in western Kenya, where at a family care center about 40 youths learned a WAIT skit and dances and were given T-shirts imprinted with a meaningful phrase in Swahili about waiting for the beloved one. The two speakers were supported and assisted by five Kenyatta University students and several of Mrs. Isalano’s relatives.

At the main event  on Dec. 1, the skit, dances and explanations particularly interested the press and the team appeared on national TV. Mrs. Chételat Komagata encouraged the authorities to invest more in character education as a means of preventing HIV/AIDS rather than only distributing free condoms and medicine.

The tour moved on to the western town of Busia, on the border with Uganda, where Mrs. Isalano’s husband, the former national football coach Francis Baraza, had organized an AIDS-prevention event at his village. The next stop was the Lake Victoria port city of Kisumu and the nearby Maseno University. The staff of this public university’s AIDS unit attended the UPF presentation with the support of the dean of students and were very positive about what they heard. Kenya’s WAIT coordinator, Willis, gave talks to a university choir and a local youth club.

After a seven-hour bus ride the UPF representatives and their Kenyan friends returned to Nairobi. They organized a football tournament in a poor neighborhood of the city. The players, all 15 years and younger, listened to the introductory speeches presenting football as a means for developing character and then played wholeheartedly, even without shoes. The WAIT team performed a skit, and the tournament winners, trained by coach Makao, received the cup from Mr. Baraza.

The five Kenyatta University students, plus one more student, attended the UPF Sunday service. Two Kenyan FFWPU members living in the United States but eager to support their country were also present. The five students and Mr. Baraza were awarded certificates of Ambassador for Peace. Two of the students started a seven-day seminar that same day and the other three came the next day after finishing an assignment for the university.

On the second evening of the seminar, Mrs. Chételat Komagata spoke about her younger years when, even having everything external one can possibly dream of in Switzerland, she was unhappy and for eight months traveled around the world, searching for the purpose of her life, before finding the teachings of Dr. Sun Myung Moon in Australia.

Mrs. Chételat Komagata wrote that she feels Kenya has a great potential for development, as the people have an open heart and understand spiritual realities right away. Moreover they are searching for ways to better their situation. She expressed her confidence that the WAIT approach can motivate young people to develop their heart, character and personality before starting conjugal relations, and that the widespread teaching of this approach can lead to the end of the AIDS pandemic. (See http://youtu.be/8g9xVbXUelI)

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