A first-of-its-kind network in the Caribbean is uniting HIV and AIDS coordinators to use education to prevent HIV and AIDS, teach the public about how HIV is transmitted, and empower schools to be inclusive learning and working environments.
The consortium is known as the Caribbean Education Sector HIV and AIDS Coordinator Network (EduCan). It brings HIV and AIDS coordinators from education ministries across the Caribbean together with EDC to create a policy-level response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the education sector. “We can share experiences and talk about the best practices in the region. So rather than reinvent programs and policies, we can build on what already works for the Caribbean,” says Glenda Rolle, senior education officer and HIV and AIDS coordinator in the Bahamas Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, and Culture.
The ministries are in a unique position to create, implement, and enforce policies that will guide officials on how to respond to the threat of HIV and AIDS in the education sector. “The education sector needs a comprehensive approach for responding to the HIV and AIDS crisis. With that, we can safeguard young people and education staff in the Caribbean and the economic future of the region,” explains EDC’s Connie Constantine.
The project is developing policy-level guidelines, as well as tools, curricula, and programs for local HIV and AIDS coordinators to better educate Caribbean youth and other citizens about preventing HIV and AIDS.
EduCan was established with funding from the CARICOM/Pan Caribbean Partnership, Inter-American Development Bank, and UNESCO Caribbean and is facilitated by EDC.
Originally published on October 24, 2008