Community Health Facilitator Program 2018

The 2018 Community Health Facilitator team with the village leaders in Akeri, Tanzania.

The 2018 Community Health Facilitator team with the village leaders in Akeri, Tanzania.

It's June 2018 and our team of Community Health Facilitators have safely stepped into the love and beauty of Tanzanian culture in East Africa. We have spent the past six months preparing for this moment - a moment of pure joy, freedom, and accomplishment. This also serves as the mark of another chapter of hard work in our fight against HIV/AIDS. Each year our HEAL family grows a little bit bigger, and more people are empowered in their health and their life.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is one that affects all human beings; it does not discriminate and it is not curable. It is an epidemic that our communities do not talk about despite having taken the lives of 35 million people and currently infecting over 36 million more.

HEAL is committed to a future in which there is no HIV stigma -- where people who are living with HIV/AIDS are loved and supported. HEAL sees a future in which there is a generation free from HIV, resulting in no new infections. HEAL stands for a world where sex trafficking does not exist; a world where all children have access to the love and healing they need.

Our Community Health Facilitator program pushes people to extreme heights of leadership. It is in no way easy; our interns are asked to be entirely unreasonable in their actions and words. For six months they practice facilitating public health discussions in Arizona over, and over, and over again until they are practically dreaming it. For six months they discover what it means to feel confident in their own health and well-being, and how to inspire the people in their lives to take action against HIV/AIDS. For six months our interns jump hurdles and divert roadblocks in their lives so that they can be people who are reliable, who listen, and who are an extraordinary contribution to their communities and communities all over the world.

After hours dedicated to HEAL International on top of school, work, extracurriculars, and social lives, they have joined our Tanzania Health Officers in Arusha to facilitate discussions about public health in the community. During the training process, they have transformed the lives of over 500 community members in Phoenix, and will impact thousands more in Arusha, Tanzania before the program ends on August 4th. Our team has just completed their fourth week in the country, and their third week of leading health discussions in primary and secondary schools in Akeri Village. They have already developed strong relationships in the community, experienced working in cross-cultural teams, become leaders in the fight towards an HIV free generation, and stood for that everyone gets to feel empowered about their sexual health.

As an organization, we are truly moved by these individuals. They are the changemakers - the people who act on that which is of importance to their life and change the world along the way. We couldn't be more proud of our 2018 Community Health Facilitator team, or more excited for what is to come.