VV - Youth Outreach MentorsEmpower. Inspire. Educate.

The Mission

Youth Outreach Mentors (YOM) empowers, inspires and educates youth about HIV/AIDS prevention, gender equality and healthy lifestyle practices for HIV positive people.

The Need

In a country with over 1,300,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, 62% being women and girls, there is a lack of knowledge surrounding the disease that is slowly but surely destroying communities. There is also an insatiable desire for better understanding.

Village Volunteer Devon De Leña traveled to Kenya in the spring of 2007, offering adolescent girls gender equality workshops in four different schools. When the girls were asked to write their most pressing unanswered questions, over 75% wrote, “What is AIDS?”

The Approach

Youth Outreach Mentors are trained to facilitate the education of youth in HIV/AIDS and health education and to also educate their communities. YOM workshops are taught by volunteers traveling abroad through Village Volunteers.

A comprehensive HIV/AIDS training manual is available thanks to Devon, who returned to the US and worked with four Kenyan community health workers in its development. The curriculum is available to the public through Village Volunteers’ Sustainable Village Library. This knowledge is a crucial tool for the survival of millions of people around the world.

In September 2008, Village Volunteer Carline Cardosi launched the first Kenyan YOM groups with hundreds of youth being trained to become Youth Outreach Mentors. Today, YOM is active in many villages and youth are educating their peers.

YOM Goals

  • Educate youth as public health mentors
  • Increase the awareness and general knowledge of HIV/AIDS
  • Promote the preventative practices of HIV/AIDS
  • Educate youth about their physical health with emphasis on the girl child
  • Train youth in group facilitation and gender equality
  • Promote HOPE and support of people living with HIV/AIDS
  • Deconstruct taboos and myths surrounding HIV/AIDS

Get Involved

To learn more about the work of Youth Outreach Mentors, contact Village Volunteers.

Volunteer abroad as a trainer with a YOM club.

Donate: For only $240 you can train 20 youth to educate others about HIV/AIDS.