HEY! LET’S TALK ABOUT HIV & AIDS with AYO!BaliSpirit Karma Yoga outreach program established the AYO! Kita Bicara HIV & AIDS (Hey! Let’s Talk HIV and AIDS) program in 2010 in response to the critical need for HIV & AIDS education in Bali. The AYO! program empowers teenagers to guard their own physical and emotional health and act with empathy toward others within their community. In 4 years, AYO! has held workshops in 71 high schools in 9 kabupaten (districts) in Bali and reached over 3,360 students, 150 teachers, 18 facilitators, and thousands of people weekly during its AYO! Broadcasts.
HIV and AIDS in Bali
We know what those letters stand for: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). We know the importance of getting tested, we know HIV is not a death sentence, we know the difference between the urban myths and fact surrounding HIV & AIDS, but not everyone has this gift of understanding. In Indonesia, where reproductive health and sex education is not in the school curriculum, there is a huge knowledge gap. This lack of knowledge is incredibly dangerous.
As of the end of 2014, Bali has over 9,477 recorded cases of HIV, but an estimated 30% of new cases go unreported each year. More than 40% of reported cases are young people aged 15 – 29. Although nearly 60 testing and treatment clinics are now open throughout Bali, comprehensive sex and HIV/AIDS education have yet to be incorporated into public school curriculum.
How AYO! works to bring about greater awareness of HIV & AIDS among Bali’s youth
Through interactive AYO! EduSpirit Workshops for Balinese high school students
The EduSpirit workshops have been held in 71 schools in some of the poorest, remote and most vulnerable to HIV areas in Bali, including Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, West Bali National Park, the port of Gilimanuk (the Java to Bali route), and in the port of Padang Bai (the Lombok to Bali route). AYO! has been able to reach over 3,360 teenagers and educate them about HIV & AIDS.
Each workshop includes a pre and post knowledge tests, games, video screening, sex education through creative and engaging information exchange, information on high-risk behaviors (including unprotected sex and intravenous drug use), information on HIV & AIDS testing and treatment, condom demonstrations, and an introduction to yoga.
By creating a safe and trusting environment, the EduSpirit Workshops encourage high school students to talk openly about HIV & AIDS. Accurate
information sharing in a fun and relaxed environment, combined with exercises in open communication, empathy, and a focus on spiritual
and emotional development ensures Bali’s young people develop the crucial critical thinking skills and social compassion necessary to combat
the spread of HIV & AIDS, as well as the social stigma surrounding the disease.
The workshop format has been so successful that AYO! was asked to create a module to enable more educators to deliver the workshop to a wider audience. AYO! has now trained 16 facilitators in Bali to deliver these trainings.
Through public service announcements and weekly radio show
AYO! talks to hundreds of listeners on its hour-long weekly radio show on two of Bali’s most popular radio stations. The show is an interactive
talk show with creative ways of talking about HIV & AIDS and reproductive health. Every week 3 or more listeners call in to ask their
pressing sexual health questions and chat with AYO! staff on air.
AYO! also uses Facebook and Twitter to maintain contact with workshop participants and reach a whole new audience of teens throughout Bali. All public outreach focuses on encouraging individuals and local communities to take stronger action in reversing negative social and cultural behavior caused by stigma, discrimination, and misinformation about people already infected with HIV.
Through Annual community events
Since 2011, the BaliSpirit Festival has hosted community concerts on the public football field in central Ubud to raise awareness about HIV
& AIDS. The first concert attracted more than 3,000 people, and the second year, more than 6,000. The AYO! Awareness Concerts have
featured some of Bali and greater Indonesia’s most well-known performing artists and dedicated advocates for HIV & AIDS awareness.
AYO! Also participates in community events throughout the year like International AIDS Awareness Day by setting up a booth and distributing materials and information.
How YOU can help
- MAKE A DONATION – Onsite at the Festival’s venues, at Yoga Barn, Kafe, or through PayPal (contact outreach.program/at/balispiritfestival.com to donate).
- Buy a VIP ticket to the Bali Spirit Festival and a portion of your ticket will go straight to the AYO! project.
- Consider donating the cost of one yoga class at The Yoga Barn. The cost of one class can really help prevent the spread of HIV & AIDS, reduce the stigma, and end discrimination in Bali.
What Your Donation will be used for
In 2015, the AYO! Bali project will need:
1. USD 20,000 to hold another 10 workshops in vulnerable communities around Bali. Each workshop costs USD 2,000 to hold, funding trainers and materials for 50-70 teens per training.
2. USD 5,200 to produce our radio shows twice a week for a year.
3. USD 3,000 for a facilitator training to help our facilitators add to their skill set and train even more people across Bali.
4. USD X to hold the 2015 AYO! Bali Awareness Concert.
The AYO! Bali project is funded by your donations (USD16,000 to date) though the Bali Spirit Karma Yoga Outreach Program and with the generous support of the New Zealand Aid Programme, the Spirit Paramaciita Foundation, Bali Children’s Project Foundation, Bumi Sehat Foundation, Bali Peduli Foundation, KPA Bali, and the Local Government, Health Department, Education Department, and Youth and Sports Departments in each of the 9 kabupaten (districts) of Bali. We also thank Desa Seni, Teh Kotak, The Yoga Barn, Radja Pro, DKT Indonesia (Fiesta and Sutra Condoms), YAMAHA Indonesia, Pregina, and Antida Records for their contributions.
Since 2008, through its Karma Yoga Outreach Programs, the BaliSpirit Festival has helped to raise over USD $85,000 for its outreach initiatives, including children’s programs, multi-cultural collaborations, HIV & AIDS awareness and environmental programs.