The Amy Biehl HIV/AIDS peer educators programme: An impact assessment of the valued benefits and disbenefits for the programme participants

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Centre for Social Science Research

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University of Cape Town

This paper is the final deliverable of an impact assessment programme commissioned by the Amy Biehl Foundation to investigate the deeper impacts, benefits and disbenefits, on the recipients of the HIV/AIDS peer educators programme. This paper posits an interesting methodology based on Sen’s capability approach which sought to explore the impact of the peer education programme upon dimensions of well-being and other agency objectives. The programme was found to be having a very positive impact upon the recipients. Overall the programme was found have important unintended, but predictable outcomes upon youth’s knowledge, confidence and inner voice. The suggestion in this paper is that changes in feelings of self-worth are valuable in enhancing choices and decisions made generally in the peer educators lives and especially in regards to the knowledge gained in the area of HIV/AIDS. This is a positive appraisal; it tells us that the programme empowers youths through knowledge and relationships, which in turn enhances their own feeling of self-worth1 . Coaching the peer educators with reliable knowledge about HIV/AIDS is instrumentally and substantively important, enabling informed choices that can lead them to enjoy a long and healthy life.