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Thailand: Personal experience drives ‘youth-to-youth’ HIV educator

© UNICEF video
Nakwan Leknork joined the Youth to Youth Education Project in Thailand after her father died from HIV/AIDS and her mother was diagnosed HIV positive.

By Nakwan Leknork

Nakwan Leknork, 20, has been helping to educate other young people about HIV/AIDS since the age of 14. She joined the Youth-to-Youth Education Project after both of her parents were infected with the virus; her father subsequently died of the disease. The group in which Nakhwan works is one of 10 groups of young people in northern Thailand supported by UNICEF.

Nakwan talked with UNICEF about herself and her work.

02 November 2005, Chiang Rai, THAILAND - “I’m affected because my parents have HIV. My mother is HIV positive and my father passed away about five years ago. At around that time I started to work with people living with HIV.

“We do activities with children affected by HIV/AIDS. We also work with poor children and children whose parents are working overseas, or whose parents are separated. We do activities together, and put our spare time to good use. Part of it is to help them forget about things, and we help them to become mature members of society and look after themselves.

“Thai people are becoming more accepting. Society is becoming much more open but halting HIV starts with oneself. Everyone has to help in lots of different directions.

‘We have to help each other’

“I think that it’s not just children and young people who will halt the spread of HIV. Adults must also help. More attention must be given to media. We have to make young people aware of the need to stop the spread of HIV and reduce promiscuity.

“I can’t halt anything by myself. We have to join forces with lots of other groups, including political and economic ones.

“I’d like to have world leaders open up forums, to provide knowledge and understanding to children and young people, and give them increased opportunities to work together. I’d like adults to understand more and to allow young people to participate much more in solving problems.

“We have to help each other. I can’t stop it alone. It has to be done together.”




October 2005:
Nakwan Leknork tells UNICEF about her work with the Youth-to-Youth Education Project in Thailand.

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2 November, 2005
Listen to an audio version of Nakwan Leknork's story.

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