Interview with Rudolph Roberts, Member of St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers' Union (SVGTU)
In July 2007, Rudolph Roberts benefited from training conducted by his union, the SVGTU on HIV/AIDS prevention and Education for All. He spoke to EI about his experience.
1. What motivated you to take part in the EFAIDS training?
I found out about the training opportunity through the union. I had previous knowledge of HIV and AIDS but I wanted to learn more. I joined a training session with my colleague Venda Smith, the President of the SVGTU Gender Committee. She had represented the SVGTU at a training session for Caribbean EFAIDS Coordinators in St. Lucia in October 2006.
2. To what extent did the training give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to protect yourself from and teach others about HIV and AIDS?
The training was both informative and empowering. I particularly like the role-plays, which focused on getting rid of discrimination in schools. It gave me much more confidence to deal with these kind of situations. In one scenario we acted out, there were four teachers, one of whom was living with HIV. The other teachers were discriminating against this person, avoiding contact with him and acting as though they could catch the virus from just being beside him. Another teacher intervened to set the record straight and give the facts about how the four ways that HIV can be transmitted. I feel that my knowledge increased and that I can now go on and teach others in this same way.
3. How have you taken the training forward and what’s the next step for you?
I have now done this training, particularly the role-play element in my class. The students were so excited about it. They are aged between 11 and 12 years old. I also held mini-workshops in my school, Buccamant Government School (or Dubois School) with the other teachers. This training was then brought into individual classes with the kids. All of the Grade 3-6 kids (7-12 year olds) benefited from it. They enjoyed the role-play scenarios very much.
I also spoke to the President of the National Society for Persons with Disability about my training experience and managed to convince her to hold a workshop here in Colonairie in the North with participants from the organisation in 12 different areas. We are now cascading the training out to different groups and to the other side of the island now.