Camp - June 2010

On two weekends in June, 16 teenagers all living with HIV/AIDS, from the Jan and Oscar House and Nazareth House attended a camp at Khon Kaen. The camp was run by the Infectious Diseases Team at Srinakarin Hospital in Khon Kaen. This team includes medical and nursing personnel, a pharmacist and teenage counselors and play therapists. About 25 teenagers attended both weekends and many of them came from poor backgrounds and were living with grandmothers or in government orphanages. The weekend consisted of lots of games to introduce and establish connections between the kids. Writing stories, drawing and role playing were activities used to help the participants’ describe their feelings and thoughts on living with HIV/AIDS. Developing relationships and how HIV is transmitted was one of many topics discussed in small groups, also how to understand blood tests, ARV medicines and to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS was covered in the larger group. The teenagers were able to ask lots of questions in a safe environment. Sadness and grief were expressed when the kids had to write about their relationships with their parents and families, and then share those emotions with one other person. For some of these kids this was the first time they were able to explore the grief of losing parents to HIV/AIDS and their fears and hopes for their futures.  Perhaps because of the sadness, a lot more fun, laughter and positive energy was generated to make the weekend a great success.

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