HIV/AIDS and Education Activities in West Africa

Ghana (2002)

"The HIV and Development workshop organized by ACI for World Education/Ghana in August, 2002 served as a seminal event in awakening the Ministry of Education to the critical role that the MoE has in stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS and the havoc that HIV/AIDS can wreak on the education sector. For the first time, the eyes of senior Directors of the Ministry were opened to the possibility that they themselves (and their loved ones) could be at-risk for HIV infection. The Wildfire exercise, followed by a testimony from people living with HIV/AIDS, was a transformational process for every individual in the workshop. Not only did these three days open doors for further research, programming, and policy formulation within the Ministry and Ghana Education Service, it also paved the way for the development of an entire curriculum for use at all Teacher Training Colleges in the country. Indeed, the ACI HIV and Development Modules - Basic Facts, Impact and Responses - have served as a foundational guide for the work of World Education, local civil society organizations, and the Ministry of Education's newly formed HIV/AIDS Secretariat. A year and a half later, that workshop remains one of the most important and memorable for those in senior positions in the education sector"
John Yanulis
Director, World Education, Accra, Ghana (2004)

Mali and Guinea (2001 and 2002)
ACI provided extensive HIV and Development Training and Training of Trainers for the World Education staffs in both these countries. The trainings led to the implementation of innovative HIV/AIDS awareness-raising programs involving local NGOs and community-based associations, as well as Parent-Teachers Associations, confederations and community schools. In Guinea, working in collaboration with the Peace Corps, ACI promoted the creation of GVS (Groupe Vie Saine), a local NGO specializing in HIV and Development and Life Skills Training that has provided quality training for both education and other community based projects.

The Gambia 2001 and 2003
ACI designed and facilitated HIV and Development Training programs for government officials and HIV/AIDS focal points in Government Ministries- including Education - in The Gambia. These programs, organized in collaboration with the National AIDS Control Programme and the National AIDS Secretariat have significantly raised awareness of AIDS and Education issues in that country.

Innovative HIV-AIDS and Education Activities in West Africa: MTT/West (2003-2005)
In partnership with USAID, ACI organized and managed a Mobile Task Team to assist ministries of education in West Africa with integrating HIV into program planning and management. MTT/West developed support programs for ministries of education in Benin, Guinea, Mali, and Senegal, and published A Guide to Financial and Technical Resources, available to the Education Sector in Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Ghana.

In 2003, ACI was invited by USAID to host the creation of MTT West, a mobile group of expert consultants to focous on addressing the impact of HIV on the education sector. Its creation was supported with funds from the United States President’s Africa Education Initiative.  Based on a model from Southern Africa, the Mobile Task Team (MTT) used a package of support strategies to help Ministries of Education strengthen their management capacities in the areas of HIV/AIDS impact assessment, mitigation and educational planning.  It had been noted that various Ministries responsible for Education often drew up and implemented minor and sometimes major action plans without having laid the necessary foundations or having developed a context for comprehensive, long-term planning of the response.

MTT/West participated in Education Sector capacity building workshops with MTT/South, the World Bank, UNICEF, and other partners. It developed collaboration with the West and Central African Education research network (ROCARE/ERNWACA) and explored partnerships with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and IIEP/UNESCO in Paris. The MTT/West began to work through USAID missions to develop support programs for Ministries of education in Benin, Guinea, Mali, and Senegal.

As part of its mission, MTT/West published A Guide to Financial and Technical Resources, available to the Education Sector in Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Ghana. Click here to access these guides in English or in French. The project also financed the publication of a document in English and French (title) on qualitative research methods for use by education researchers.

MTT closed unexpectedly and before reaching its full potential in in 2005.

In , in 2005-2006, following the MTT experience, ACI continued to work in close collaboration with Creative Associates with funding from USAID to define the role and strengthen the HIV/AIDS Focal Unit of the Beninese Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in developing a systemic response to the epidemic.