A 10-member team from Teach for India, visited Sneha Charitable Trust, Snehagram site, from Mumbai, to understand our Peer Leadership Program. Sneha Charitable Trust, through its commitment and dedication, has built partnerships with organizations across the state of Karnataka and works closely with these institutions to continue to impact the lives of the children, adolescents, and youth living with HIV to be able to build meaningful, sustainable, and healthy lives.
Understanding Peer Leadership: The key activities envisaged build on the concept of ownership of the adolescents and youth infected with HIV through training, networking, and social mobilization. Through this program, we empower our beneficiaries through practical engagement in the activities, while also strengthening partnerships. Each of the peer leaders works closely with a group of at least 60 beneficiaries, who are enlisted based on the registered ART center. They track them for service linkages, anti-retroviral treatments, and social entitlements using tools that are developed in a participatory manner. They also link beneficiaries to counselors either through direct face-to-face contact or tel-counseling. The peer-leaders work within the HUBs, guided by mentors, to lead the activities that effectively reach out to the youth. On a monthly basis, at the site level, there are youth-friendly sessions that ensure effective participation either physically or through video platforms like ‘Skype’, ‘WhatsApp’ or ‘Zoom’. These activities are designed to empower the youth to make the right decisions to impact their health, education, and livelihood concerns.