"I have started to love God and I have started to trust people again" said Juan*, who shared his story on living with HIV at the recent Channels of Hope training in Costa Rica.
From May 2-8, AIDSLink International, gave its first Channels of Hope HIV and AIDS facilitators' training in Spanish. Nineteen people from various Latin American countries attended.
Most participants had some basic information on HIV and the desire to make a difference, however all were challenged in their worldview and attitudes. "I was unaware of some prejudiced attitudes in my heart" said Maria "this training has bought them to light and has enabled me to work through them."
"Thank you for putting this together" said Pilar "I am leaving with a deeper desire to make a difference, our plan is to work with the younger generation, youth and children."
After a session on strategic planning, the participants came to the overall conclusion that there was a lack of information and an overall ignorance on HIV and AIDS. All left committed to give workshops in their local communities; to form strategic partnerships with other organizations working with those living with HIV and AIDS; and to do practical acts of service.
"I would love to hear more 'Juan type stories'" said Julie Paniagua, AIDSLink Latin America representative, "all of you have rebuilt his trust throughout this week and he has responded in loving God again, now let's go and do the same in our own communities."