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Journal Article


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Bennoun, Robert; Prudence Borthwick
Lifeskills and HIV/AIDS Education for Mekong Youth
Development Bulletin
no. 56, Development Studies Network, Australian National University, October 2001, pp. 83-86

Reproduced with the kind permission of the Development Studies Network, ANU.


"‘Lifeskills’ is an instructional approach to behavioural change that combines social and thinking skills, developed by social scientists over the last three decades. This approach has been widely promoted by UNICEF and other agencies as an alternative to the knowledge-based educational programmes used in the early years of the AIDS epidemic. The knowledge-based approach was demonstrated to be ineffective in changing risk behaviour, while lifeskills had been used successful in a number of areas, such as youth violence and substance abuse. Over the past few years, a great deal of work has gone into using lifeskills in HIV prevention programmes, often in combination with peer education. The Mekong Regional Children’s Forum for Students in Border Areas has been organised by the Yunnan School-based Health Education Programme Office with the Health Minority Group, Yunnan PRA Network, funded by AusAID with assistance from UNICEF. Participants are from China, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Each country team has a leader from the national/provincial education department, a resource person, two core teachers and/or trainers and six middle-school students, selected by the education department from schools in border areas. Mandarin interpreters accompany each delegation.
The aim of the forum is for student peer educators and core trainers to share, learn and exchange strategies, methods and activities developed in various school health education environments, particularly in areas of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and drug prevention."

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