WAIT (Washington Aids International Teens) Team

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Tsubata Family

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What is WAIT Team?

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WAIT stands for the Washington AIDS International Teens, youth volunteers ages 13 to 25 who teach HIV and AIDS prevention through performing arts. Believing that not even one more person deserves to be infected with this deadly virus, WAIT members have chosen to live the “best practices” for prevention—abstinence until one faithful life partnership, getting tested, avoiding blood contact, and using one’s talents to share the message with others.

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Each WAIT member is encouraged to develop their unique talents as a way to convey the prevention message to others. Skits, game shows, singing, dancing, art, and other creative channels are employed in our activities. WAIT embraces all people, so honoring each person’s respective faith, language, family and tradition is important within our teams.

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WAIT has reached 20 states of the US and 15 other nations. WAIT is supported by the voluntary donations and support of caring individuals and organizations. Donations are tax-deductible, under U.S. regulations, and we try to always provide acknowledgement of every gift, unless made anonymously.  Mission Statement Our mission is to stop the spread of HIV through factual education, creativity, and by modeling the good choices of abstinence, faithful lifetime partnership, getting tested, and using universal precautions to prevent blood contact. WAIT regards every human life as precious, regardless of HIV status. We believe that love, respect, courage and service are the universally acceptable values that must be our tools.

WAIT & Girl Child Project in Uganda

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WAIT Uganda reaches out to schools and communities where the team uses the medium of Performing Arts and talks, to teach pupils the danger of HIV/AIDS and the value of abstinence in order to stay safe and healthy. Currently, there are 10 functioning WAIT clubs around Kampala and 15 in the Masaka area. This outreach is restricted as only £60 per month is provided by IRFF UK to cover the cost of travel, food and materials for the volunteers. If this were doubled, WAIT Uganda could do much more in saving young peoples’ lives by fulfilling their goals of engaging youth and raising up role models and youth leaders with principled education, and organizing proper WAIT training!

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The UK WAIT Team will be traveling to Ghana to start a WAIT team. From July 9-24 , 2018 WAIT members will be visiting several schools in Accra, launching WAIT Ghana on the 13th, running a WAIT workshop for youth, setting up WAIT clubs, attending Mandela Day Celebration the 18th, and embark upon 2 days of sightseeing.  The team of 5 will be UK WAIT Director ,Marshall de Souza, 4 youth, and the Uganda WAIT director

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Here are some responses to the work WAIT Uganda is doing:

“My name is Joseph. I am so thankful to WAIT-Uganda for all their efforts of educating me about living an abstinent lifestyle. I lacked guidance from my parents before they died. I now appeal to all parents out there who find it hard to talk to their kids regarding sex and other related health issues: ‘Here’s an approach which you can be comfortable with in order for you to discuss this matter with your kids. They give you useful tips on what are important – WAIT is the only safe solution’”.

“With abstinence, no barriers or pills are necessary because the person is not being sexually intimate with others. You don’t have to be a virgin to practice abstinence… Even someone who has been having sex can still choose abstinence to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in the future. I am now free; the past is gone and a new life has begun. Thank you WAIT–Uganda.”

Agnes, Head Prefect, Equator Secondary School

“Ten years ago before WAIT came to Uganda, abstinence was almost something you couldn’t mention; now the culture is embracing it! I never get tired of encouraging the young people. WAIT can provide a basic protection against certain infections, like HIV/AIDS or gonorrhoea, herpes and teenage pregnancy.” 
Ronnie, Taso Counsellor and WAIT Alumni

The Girl-Child Project works alongside WAIT Uganda to visit schools and communities to support girls and young women with basic hygiene and understanding of their menstrual cycles. The volunteers also offer counselling, emotional support, reusable sanitary pads, and if funds are available, school materials too. As with WAIT Uganda, if the £60 per month budget was doubled, more girls could be supported and prevented from missing their valuable school education!

The Girl Child Project has made a big difference in peoples’ lives:

“Many girls and women in poverty are forced to take a wrong decision! They are so desperate that the only way for them to get money for buying pads is by selling their body which comes with severe consequences, for example unprepared teenage pregnancy and HIV positive status. The behaviour and lives of our students have changed. We are well-disciplined, healthy and are achieving good academic performances as taught us by the Girl Child volunteers. Thank you for your good work and services towards our African girls and children.” Hadijah, female health student at Ndejje University