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.