Online Program

Peer education as an enabling factor to increase social capital amongst marginalized young people in the Bahamas

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Christine Fu, PhD, American Red Cross, Washington, DC
Andres Melendez-Salgado, American Red Cross, Washington, DC
The Bahamas Red Cross HIV Prevention Project is operating in the inner city communities of Nassau on New Providence. These urban communities are characterized by high rates of unemployment in particular youth unemployment, single headed households, poverty, violence and gang related activity. Early unplanned pregnancies, high rates of HIV and STI and lower levels of school attendance and literacy are common in these locations. Communication between adults and youth rarely occurs. Thirty six Peer Educators have been working with the project for over 2 years and it is clear the program has contributed to increased knowledge around safer sex and HIV prevention amongst young people in these inner city communities and contributed to changes in behavior and attitude shifts amongst the targeted populations. Personal growth and increased self-confidence has been demonstrated by most of the PE and many report the same levels of personal growth and increased sense of responsibility amongst their peers. Key results of this increased confidence and self-esteem have translated into the PE having a sense of recognition and value in their communities. This increased social capital lowers at-risk youth's vulnerability to HIV and other maladaptive outcomes.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the effects of a peer education intervention on communities and peer educators. Demonstrate the linkages between interpersonal communication between peers and strengthening social capital in youth in the Bahamas. Identify key associations between peer education and social determinants of health.

Keyword(s): Adolescent Health, HIV Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I helped contribute to the data analysis and write up.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.