'Let Your Light Shine' Video-Based Training Series. 2007

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 In sub-Saharan Africa, there are now more than 15 million orphans who have lost one or both parents to AIDS.  By 2015, there will be over 25 million.  Two million children are currently infected with HIV.  Yet, there are many things you can do to respond!  The "Let Your Light Shine" training kit can help you get started helping affected children and mobilizing and training others so that help is more effective.  

The "Let Your Light Shine" video-based training series was developed by ARCA ASSOCIATES and ten organizations (World Vision, Compassion International, Tearfund UK, World Relief, Kindernothilfe, MAP International, VIVA Network, Norwegian Church Aid, Kids Alive, and the Moravian Church) to help caregivers, communities, faith communities, and individuals in Africa and around the world learn how to respond to the needs of children affected by HIV. Training material is based on real, practical, replicable examples of what is working, and was filmed in ten countries of Eastern and Southern Africa over a two-year period.  The training series is intended for organizations, communities, faith groups and individuals (especially frontline child care workers) interested in working with children affected by HIV.

The full curriculum, now available for the first time for free download below, is composed of a short introductory user's guide, an extensive course facilitator's book with content developed by a team of African experts and practitioners, two fifteen-minute introductory documentaries, and twelve ten-minute educational video modules. 

The curriculum, completed at the end of 2007 and in print and DVD format until now, has been in wide use in Africa and around the world. sketch boy 2.jpgIt has drawn strong reviews:

Fullness of life remains a mirage for many children in Africa.  In the midst of almost insurmountable suffering, the Church plays a defining role. However, tools for an effective response are wanting.  Now, "Let Your Light Shine" materials are here. The materials are dynamite, empowering families, child caregivers, and faith groups, and they will make a lasting impact in the lives of our children. - Dr. Peter Okaalet, MAP International

Many community and faith based organisations in Africa struggle to find meaningful ways to address the impact of HIV and AIDS on children in their communities. This video based training pack brings to life best practices in Africa, by Africans. It equips community members to both understand the issues and act to transform the lives of their most vulnerable children. - Paul Stephenson, Senior Director Child Development and Rights, World Vision International

Children have been the missing face of the AIDS pandemic.  An estimated 15 million children around the world have lost one or both parents to AIDS. These children need support, education, and protection. - Ann Veneman, Executive Director, UNICEF

Course materials are initially available in English, French, and Swahili (Kenya dialect).  (Live links in the text are to the English versions.  English, French, and Swahili versions of all materials can be found and downloaded from the file list at the bottom of this page.  Videos available in all three languages - written materials in English and French only).  However, due to widespread demand for multiple additional translations, new language video versions are currently in production in Lingala, Congolese Swahili, and Tanzanian Swahili (and will be added to this site as soon as they are available).  We hope to add many more language versions in the future.  If you are interested in ensuring production of the materials in an additional language version not listed here, please contact Dr. Peter Clark, executive producer of "Let Your Light Shine" at: peterdclark007@yahoo.com.  In the interim, if your preferred language version is not yet available, please feel free to download and use the English and French user's guide and course facilitator's book, and the English, French, and Swahili videos now on this site.

Download Instructions:  We recommend you download and read the short "User's Guide" first, which will give you a short overview of all materials available in the "Let Your Light Shine" kit and suggest how best to use them.  Second, download the longer "Facilitator's Book".  This will give you much wider and deeper ideas and information about how to use the course materials in a training context.  Finally, you can choose to download and use one, several, or all of the 14 videos in the series depending on your particular interest and needs. We recommend you start viewing the two documentaries in order first.  Then, you can pick and choose to view one, several, or all of the 12 educational video modules by topic in the order you wish.  

All of the videos are in mp4 format which means you must have Apple Quicktime software on your computer in order to view the videos.  Quicktime normally comes pre-installed on all Apple computers.  If you do not have Quicktime on your computer, you can download it for free for use on your PC or Apple (if it did not come pre-installed or was removed from your Apple) at this link: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/.  Be sure you download the right Quicktime version (for PC or Apple) based on what type of computer you have, and that it is also the Quicktime version that is for the version of the operating system currently installed on your computer.  

OK, time to download.  A menu of all downloadable files is available at the bottom of this page.  Immediately following is a description of all video content:  

Documentary 1: "The Candles Dim"  This powerful documentary presents the many ways HIV is affecting children in sub-Saharan Africa.  It is intended to stir a general audience to action based on a raised understanding of the dimensions, causes, and origins of the crisis.  

Documentary 2: "The Candles Burn Bright"  This documentary presents four case studies of "candles burning bright" - African organizations and individuals who are responding to the crisis, visibly demonstrating that there are many things people can do to care for children even in difficult circumstances.  This documentary serves to mobilize a general audience to respond to the needs of children affected by HIV and, among other things, to seek more training, such as that offered via the rest of this course.   

Module 1: "The Healthy African Child"  This introductory module presents a positive picture of what everyone is aiming for - a healthy African child (physical, mental, social, and spiritual health), and suggests that this goal should also apply to children affected by HIV.  

Module 2: "Facts About HIV and AIDS"  This module presents local responses to several basic questions everyone has about HIV and AIDS, including: What is HIV and AIDS?  How is HIV transmitted? What are some cultural myths about HIV and AIDS?

Module 3: "Children and HIV: 0 to 5 Years"  This module addresses issues affecting parents and children from prior to birth till five years old, and touches on issues like parent to child transmission, medication, breastfeeding, proper nutrition, etc.

Module 4: "Children and HIV: 6 to 12 Years"  This module addresses primary school related concerns, and focuses especially on the role teachers can play in creating a suitable educational environment for children affected by HIV.  

Module 5: "Preparing for a Healthy Future"  This module addresses the special needs faced by adolescents, with an emphasis on prevention education, and developing attitudes that help prepare teens for a healthy future.

Module 6: "Reaching the Top: Overcoming the Challenges of HIV and AIDS"  This module illustrates two proven methods of working with teens - promoting peer-to-peer discussions, and facilitating challenges.  Most of the module documents a mountain climb by six teens from difficult backgrounds who set out to conquer Mount Kenya, the second highest summit in Africa.  

Module 7: "Building Hope: Resiliency in the Community"  This module focuses on how to help meet children's psychosocial needs so that thy are able to cope with parental loss.  

Module 8: "Loving Our Neighbors: Reducing Stigma and Discrimination in Our Communities"  This module, in cartoon format, tries to help viewers see how stigma and discrimination can hurt people affected by HIV, and shows things faith groups and communities can do to make people in their community affected by HIV feel loved and accepted.  

Module 9: "Caring for the Caregiver"  Caring for children affected by HIV can be quite stressful and traumatic and can lead to burnout.  This module, directed at caregivers, helps them recognize the symptoms of stress, and presents some things they can do to reduce its impact.

Module 10: "Celebrating the Heroes Among Us"  Many individuals across Africa are responding heroically to the challenges of HIV and AIDS - some of them living with the virus.  This module introduces six inspirational heroes.  

Module 11: "Let's Make a Difference: Church and Community Responses to HIV and AIDS"  This module presents the inspirational examples of three faith groups and one community caring for children.  

Module 12: "Pulling Together to Change Lives"  What can be done when the need seems so great and the resources so limited?  This module encourages people to unite and work together to stretch resources to bring hope to all children.

Final Acknowledgement:  Course content development has been supported through generous contributions from World Vision, Compassion International, Tearfund UK, World Relief, Kindernothilfe, MAP International, VIVA Network, Norwegian Church Aid, Kids Alive, and the Moravian Church. 


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