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Viva a Vida is a Salvador-based NGO committed to empowering young people in impoverished neighbourhoods of Brazil to live lives free from substance addiction.
Until 2009, Viva a Vida delivered the only residential drug rehabilitation programme for street and low-income young people; providing educational intervention so that the boys could understand and address their addiction as well as gain the educational tools necessary to build productive lives for themselves once they left the program. Due to funding shortages during the recession, the rehabilitation centre was forced to close in 2009, but Viva a Vida has continued to providemuch needed support for ex-residents through its aftercare service.
In 2008, with a three year grant from the Bottletop Foundation, Viva a Vida began to develop and provide preventative workshops on substance abuse and sexual health in local state schools. Viva a Vida boys, who have completed Viva a Vida’s drug rehabilitation programme, help to facilitate the sessions as peer educators, so that other young people can benefit from their first-hand experience.
The student-led Prevention Committees set up by Viva a Vida facilitators not only collectively develop strategies to deal with specific issues such discrimination and violence but also plan engaging activities which promote healthy lifestyles and community cohesion, such as school parades, round table debates and cinema trips.
Yawenta Children’s Center was originally founded in 2008 to provide a holistic educational, medical, nutritional and psychological support to an initial 10 HIV infected children in Shashamane, a town located 250 km to the south of Addis Ababa.
Yawenta’s aim is to care for and raise a limited number of children from very underprivileged backgrounds by addressing the multiple challenges they face; such as poverty, illiteracy, chronic illness, lack of hygiene and psycho-social problems.
Over the last 9 years the centre has grown to provide a day-care service for the project, focusing on the Montessori method of teaching with an emphasis on sports and creative subjects following the Ethiopian curriculum. HIV and other counselling is offered to children and parents alike. Medical support is also provided along with dentist and ophthalmology treatment.
There is an organic vegetable garden which is maintained by the children and parents which teaches them the importance of correct nutrition. The project provides a school uniform and sports clothing for each child which gives a sense of belonging.
Today the project continues to grow and is responsible for around 115 children.
TEMWA supports sustainable community development in a remote area of rural Malawi; driven by the community they serve. In partnership with the Bottletop Foundation they deliver Mobile Video Shows; screenings of two films, Banthy Ngati Ise (People Like Us) and Mawa Langa, which aim to reduce the stigma against those infected with HIV, inform about the various ways of transmission and methods of treatment, and encourage young people to go to testing clinics organised by TEMWA.
In 2012 Bottletop Foundation funding was split equally between the delivery of Mobile Video Shows in 25 remote schools, reaching over 10,600 young people, and the wholesale purchasing of condoms needed for distribution at the Mobile VTC Clinics (Voluntary Counselling and Testing for HIV). Together we were able to equip adults and young people with the knowledge and means to live according to the insight gained from the Mobile Video Shows.