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THAILAND: Photography camp boost self-confidence and self esteem of children living with HIV

Having HIV is not an easy situation for adults, and growing up with it is even more challenging. In Thailand, increasing numbers of HIV positive children in Thailand are reaching adolescence and facing extremely challenging issues such as feeling inferior or lack of self-esteem. This is what Oxfam and HIV Prevention and Treatment (PHPT) is trying to help these young people cope with.

This photography camp is a part of a series of activities for children with HIV aged 8-17 years old in Chiangmai and Samut Sakhon province, Thailand. I got a chance to see the final two days out of a four-day workshop in Samut Sakhon. There were about 20 kids there and about the same number of trainers, staff, and observers! No, they are not abusing the project’s budget. The trainers, who are professional photographers and writer, volunteered to do it for free. Camp facilitators, who are second year students from Bangkok University, are also volunteers. They just come to help with their hearts.

“We are already successful in advocating with the government for access to Antiretroviral (ARV) medicine and treatment for newborn and young chidren with HIV so they can live longer. As these children become teenagers, the challenges changed. Even though they have the medicines, their situation is different and more sensitive than others in terms of living with others in the society and self-esteem. If we don’t work on this point to support them, they might feel inferior and withdrawn from the society, and as a result, they won’t care much about HIV prevention and taking ARV medicine continuously,” explained Chalermsak Kittitrakul, Oxfam’s Project Coordinator.

Several ‘kids camps’ have been organised to help the children and caretakers understand how they should take care of themselves and how to take medicines correctly. This is the first time the camp is organised differently to focus more on self-confidence and self-esteem.

  1. One Response to “THAILAND: Photography camp boost self-confidence and self esteem of children living with HIV”

  2. By Beth Knowles on Apr 30, 2010

    What a fantastic project, its great to watch things like this and see what we’re all working for. And the pictures the kids take are beautiful!

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