AHAPPY is an acronym for AJAN HIV and AIDS Prevention Programme for the Youth. It is a programme initiated by AJAN (African Jesuit AIDS Network) in different countries of Africa and Madagascar. The launching of this program took place at Jesuit Urumuri Centre JUC. It was a culmination of a ten days training of trainers workshop which was held in Kigali from 22-31 July 2019, and gathered 30 teachers from 15 Catholic Education Schools in the Archdiocese of Kigali.
The purpose of the workshop was to take the participants through the following topics: HIVAIDS pandemic, early teenagers pregnancy and drug abuse. The participants were urged to work together in order to find solutions.
Fr.Elphège QUENUM, SJ, the director of AJAN, highlighted that AHAPPY Generation Programme Youth is rooted in the Ignatian Pedagogy that promotes integral development of a human person.
In many countries of Africa, AHAPPY Generation Programme has shown effective results in the fight against HIV and AIDS, early pregnancies and drug abuse among school going adolescents.
In its approach around Africa, AHAPPY Generation Programme is characterized by the existence of AHAPPY Clubs or families in schools and community institutions, formation on affectivity, sexuality and value-based education.
The primarily target group are youth aged 10-24 years old and secondary target are adults who interact with youth such as school teachers, parents and other community organizers.
During the launching ceremony, Father Patrice NDAYISENGA, SJ, Director of JUC commended that AHAPPY Generation Programme came at right time in Rwanda , as the young generation, especially school children between 10-18 years old, need to be educated on how to lead a happy life free without succumbing to drug abuse and HIV infection. For the pilot phase, the programme will start in the Catholic schools around the Archdiocese of Kigali, and its successful implementation will see its spread to other regions and institutions in Rwanda.
“Education is among the priorities of the Jesuits”, Fr. Patrice Ndayisenga, SJ Director of JUC
The Director of African Jesuit Network (AJAN) and Patron of AHAPPY Programme in Africa, Fr. Elphège Quenum, SJ, on the other hand, has underscored that the programme is steadily taking root in different countries of the South Saharan Africa. He said that , on a wide operational range, AHAPPY Generation Programme conducts its activities for the youth and people who accompany them, through Training of learners ( TOL),Training of trainers, teachers, and educators through workshop (ToTs) and Formation of AHAPPY Clubs in schools, chaplaincies, as well as other educational settings. He thanked Jesuit Urumuri Centre (JUC) for the idea to invite the teachers to the workshop, because they will be AHAPPY Focal Points in different schools where they will serve as mentors and guardians of AHAPPY Generation clubs.
In his address, Msgr. Casmir UFITUMUKIZA, the Vicar General of the Arch Diocese said that a special emphasis must be put on the family, because it is the foundation of the Church and society.
“Without families, the mission of the church would be hard to accomplish”, said Msgr. Casmir
The family is a composition of both parents and children. He added that a special attention should be taken to help children who are infected with HIV and AIDS and other related as there is great need to compassionate towards the little children. He also invited the audience to challenge their peers, parents, teachers, and community mobilizers on the crucial importance of listening to children. Children need parents and educators for guidance in their most life-decisive queries touching their moral upbringing.
After the celebration of the holy mass, Msgr. Casmir UFITUMUKIZA led the rest in the official launch of AHAPPY Generation Programme by cutting the cake that was prepared for the occasion.
Communication Officer, JUC