John Boke Mwikwabe is a peer educator in Naivasha, Kenya.

I have been a peer educator ever since I was 16 years old. I was recruited by a community-based organization known as KNote and took a one-week peer education training. That was in 2001. Since then, I have had 567 different youths in my group. The peer education program works with youth between the ages of 14 and 24 years old. 

In the peer-education sessions, the main aim is to pass basic information on various health issues…with HIV being number one on the list. I have gone far to make the sessions exciting and something to look forward to by doing things like:

  • Providing one-on-one and group counseling for my peers
  • Arranging exchange programs with other peer groups in and outside of Naivasha
  • Playing outdoor sports
  • Visiting homes for children who have either been affected by or infected with HIV
  • Leading discussions on drugs and drug abuse

The composition of the group includes married couples, dating couples, straight single people, and gays and lesbians. It is an all inclusive out-of-school peer group.

The main reason why I keep doing this is because I get to learn something new from my peers all the time; they keep me on my toes! I highly appreciate the responsibility I’ve been given when I realize the difference the group is making amongst my peers. I guess it’s like they say, there’s joy in receiving but the greatest joy is in giving.

A comment on peer education from the IYWG:

For information on evidence-based practices and guidance on how to apply these practices to current youth peer education (YPE) programs, read the Evidence-Based Guidelines for Youth Peer Education.