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Dar Vida a la Vida & HIV/STD
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PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

DAR VIDA A LA VIDA (Giving Life to Life)

TITLE: DAR VIDA a LA VIDA, educational adventure program along the Dominican Republic´s coast for young people with AIDS.

OBJECTIVE:

DAR VIDA A LA VIDA is a Mini-Adventure, Ocean and Land Program. This specially designed program offers excellent opportunities to improve the lives of young people who are infected with HIV/AIDS, but who are still in good physical condition. Throughout seven (7) days, the participants travel and visit different provinces around the island of Hispaniola by boat, skirting the Dominican coastline and participating in the workshops, sports, and cultural activities that take place at the various towns and cities where we make port.

Guanin Center has myriad unique adventure opportunities designed especially for our DAR VIDA A LA VIDA program. Youths involved in this project will have the opportunity to visit various sites along the Dominican coastline, getting to know different regions and people in their own country by spending one week aboard a boat for a hands-on experience that gets them dynamically involved in aspects of their Hispanic-Caribbean culture and society that they may not have experienced before.

A secondary objective of the DAR VIDA A LA VIDA program is to stop the expansion of the country´s HIV/AIDS epidemic through programs and activities directed to groups at high risk; to increase the knowledge of HIV/AIDs in the population in general; and to strengthen the institutional capacity to assure the effectiveness and sustainability of the effort. An integral part of the program is for the young people in the regions visited to have dynamic, hands-on social and educational interchanges with the youth that have AIDS, and vice versa--thus both visitors and hosts learn about and explore in-depth a wide variety of aspects of Dominican life, society, and culture.

Discrimination:

Sexually Transmitted Diseases do not discriminate-both rich and poor people get STDs. Famous Athletes get them. Math geeks get them. CEOs and professors get them. Even someone having sex for the first time can get an STD. The only people who have no risk of getting an STD are people who haven't had sex or any kind of sexual contact. HIV and AIDS are both STDs.

What is HIV/AIDS? AIDS is the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, which is a disease that develops among people who have been infected by HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV is principally spread through unprotected sexual acts-"unprotected" means having sex without using a condom. Nearly all persons infected with HIV eventually develop AIDS. AIDS is a disease that damages the immune system of the body. When the immune system of a person is damaged, he or she is prone to illnesses that would not harm a person with a healthy immune system. The body of a person with AIDS cannot defend itself and it cannot combat the infections and some classes of tumors to which it can fall prey.

Is HIV/AIDS contagious? Yes, HIV/AIDS is contagious. But they are much more difficult to contract than a cold or a flu. In fact, it is very important to know how people cannot contract HIV or AIDS: you cannot contract HIV or AIDS by hugging, kissing, or shaking hands. Neither can you contract HIV or AIDS by sitting down next to someone with HIV/AIDS or by attending school with somebody who has it. A person with HIV/AIDS does not spread the disease if he or she coughs or sneezes, and neither mosquito bites nor other insects spread HIV/AIDS.

Prevention:

What can you do to prevent getting HIV/AIDS? If you decide to have sex, always use a condom--every single time. Even if you're already on another kind of birth control, like the pill, you should still use a condom. That's because condoms are the only type of birth control that reduces the risk of getting HIV/AIDS or other STDs.

Promotion.

The Dar Vida a la Vida program, will be promoting free condoms, prevention/education materials against HIV/STDs, free T-shirt with a logo in the back "LA LUCHA CONTRA EL SIDA IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC", presentation of movies about HIV/STD for the public.

How you can contact HIV/AIDS:

  • During an unprotected sexual act with a person infected by HIV or AIDS.
  • When needles or syringes are shared with a person infected by HIV or AIDs.
  • By drinking an infected woman's breast milk.
  • A newborn baby can contract HIV during birth if the mother is infected.

Education on HIV/AIDS prevention:

The principal educational component of the DAR VIDA A LA VIDA program is aimed at implementing national and international exchanges with students at the elementary, high school, and university levels to inform them about the topic of HIV/AIDS and how to prevent contracting or spreading the disease. At the same time, both national and international students will have the opportunity to enlarge their cultural, educational, and social knowledge through 3-5 days of training at workshops that will take place in different cities and towns around the country (and also internationally), and through a variety of sports, cultural workshops, and social activities.

Adventure Trip:

The Guanin Center will be preparing a series of 7-day trips for groups of 4 to 5 participants. They will be taken to the boat in Santo Domingo, where the Guanin Center staff will welcome them aboard, and then they spend 7days navigating around the Dominican Republic´s Caribbean and Atlantic Coasts, from Monte Cristi to Samaná, from Santo Domingo to Isla Beata in Perdernales, and from Santo Domingo to Isla Saona and Catalina Island in La Romana and Bayahibe. We will be navigating during the day and spending the night on land in hotels. After each Adventure trip the staff of Dar Vida a la Vida will take 3 days off.

Lodging: The agency SAS Travel and Tours will make all hotel arrangements.

Meals: All meals are included for the 6 nights and 7 days of the mini-adventure trip. Some of those meals will be prepared and served aboard ship.

Transportation: All transportation is included and will be arranged for by SAS Travel and Tours.

Doctors: We will have a doctor traveling with us full time, a specialist in HIV/AIDs, for the entire 12 weeks of the Dar Vida a la Vida program, to provide for the medical treatment of our young participants.

Staff: The program will provide 6 staff members, who are available 24 hours a day, to assist in all aspects of the mini-adventure trip and to respond to any and all needs that may arise. They will attend to all the participants' needs and will participate in the welcoming activities, excursions, tours, HIV/STD workshops, exchanges, voluntary service work, etc.

Security: The participant's security is one of our most essential concerns. We use the safest sites and services in Santo Domingo so that the program functions at its best and for the wellbeing of the participants. We will be in direct contact 24 hours a day with the Dominican Marine unit, Dominican Air Force, and National Police Department.

We have excellent communication services and other facilities aboard, as well as all the life jackets and other safety equipment required-and trained staff who know how to use them-plus medical equipment, supplies, and a doctor who specializes in HIV/AIDS treatment, to ensure that the participants remain both healthy and safe, plus easy transportation access when we get to all ports. Additionally we are supported by quality boat insurance, life insurance for all crew members and passengers, safe sites for interchanges and workshops, and safe, secure hotels at night.

STRUCTURE:

The DAR VIDA A LA VIDA program is coordinated through Guanin Center, Inc., and subcontracted to two more fundamental institutions

1) Student Services C x A is the base institution. Its function is to organize, provide, and take charge of logistics, student training, academic policies, and to provide and coordinate the doctor-specialist in HIV/AIDs, professors, staff, and any materials that will be used in the Dar Vida a la Vida process.
Registration number: 142382
Certification of Camera of Trade in the Dominican Republic No. 11877SD
RNC. Number 1-23-01499-6
Address in Dominican Republic: P.O. Box Z-77, Colonial Zone Tel. (809) 435-1980, Fax, (480) 247-4411
Email: inf@studentservicesdr.org , Website www.studentservicesdr.org

2) SAS Travel is in charge of providing hotel lodging, and for coordinating all transportation services, tours, excursions, and meals. SAS will also work with the insurance companies for the Dar Vida a la Vida program, to insure the smooth functioning of this aspect of the program.

Address Dominican Republic, Z-77, Colonial Zone Tel. (809) 435-1980, Fax, (480) 247-441 Email: sas@sastravelandtours.com, site www.sastravelandtours.com

ACADEMIC PATTERN:

We will be in touch with all the private and public hospitals/clinics that work directly with HIV/AIDS in the Dominican Republic to recruit young patients who are in good physical condition to participate in the program. These hospitals/clinics include: Hospital Padre Billini, Colonial Zone; HIV/AIDs Hospital, Centro de la Salud; public hospitals, HIV/AIDs hospitals and private clinics across the country; Autonomous Universidad de Santo Domingo (UASD), Health Department, and others.

REQUIREMENTS:

The program will be administered by Guanin Center, Inc. and subcontracted by two more institutions mentioned above under STRUCTURE.

Beginning date:

The program will begin in Santo Domingo de Guzman, capital of the Dominican Republic, in June 2010 and run from June 20, 2010 to August 21, 2010. We will be receiving from 10 to 12 groups of participants for the 12 weeks of the Dar Vida a la Vida program. After each Adventure trip the staff of Dar Vida a la Vida will take 3 days off.

Social-cultural/educational/sports activities

With the Dar Vida a la Vida program, we will be implementing national and international exchanges with students at the elementary, high school, and university levels to inform them about the topic of HIV/AIDS and how to prevent contracting or spreading the disease. At the same time, both national and international students will have the opportunity to enlarge their cultural, educational, and social knowledge through 3-5 days of training at workshops that will take place in different cities and towns around the country (and also internationally), and through a variety of sports, cultural workshops, and social activities. Included are: Sport: Baseball tournament, basketball, soccer, swimming, athletics activities, and more. Cultural/education: Theater and painting workshops, among others.
Social: Building a small clinic for people with HIV/AIDS, reforesting (tree planting),a dental program, etc.

Goals: Through the Centro Cultural Guanín, Inc., we will provide both national and international exchanges, where Dominicans with few financial resources will be able to participate in HIV/AIDs prevention workshops as well in sports and educational/cultural activities with foreign students. We will seek additional financial assistance so that CCTUR Guanín, Inc. can continue working with these programs and so that the trainings in education about and prevention of HIV/AIDS and others STDs can reach more than 50% of the Dominican Republic´s population.

Observations: CCTUR Guanín is planning to have more activities aimed at integrating more institutions into the DAR VIDA A LA VIDA program that provides mutually beneficial services, as previously established. Facilitators will be sent to various provinces to introduce the program in regional study centers. The work will be done through a commission that includes members and collaborators of the CCTUR Guanín, which will make the contacts. A diverse variety of activities will take place to help nurture this team of indispensable members who will help to make viable this essential part of the overall program and its goals.

Indicators:

More than 25% of the Dominican population with scarce resources will be able to benefit from this Dar Vida a la Vida program. The General Direction of the Control of Infections of Sexual Transmission and AIDS (DIGECITSS) of the Secretary of State of the Public Health and Social Attendance (SESPAS), estimates that in the Dominican Republic around 120,000 people are living with HIV, around nine times the reported total of accumulated cases, and that more than 16,000 have died as consequence of AIDS. Explicit reference is made to the project of HIV/AIDS education and prevention as one of several of the most likely instruments to increase the poor population in the Dominican Republic´s access to the benefits of social development and economic growth.

Proposals:

Offer wider opportunity to Dominican youth, and promote education and the integration of technical-professional programs. Reduce the percentage of youths who are not able to develop their abilities, thus cannot contribute to national development. Awaken our youths to the opportunities that await them in technical-professional certification. Prepare them for a more prosperous and fulfilled future.

The mission of the Center Cultural Guanin, Inc
. in the Dominican Republic is to provide a safe, supportive place where children, youth, and everybody can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships, and develop confidence and skills for life.

End Goal:

To improve the life condition of the Dominican populace through acquired knowledge, which will permit them to maximize the employment opportunities that are available in the country. Throughout the years, Center Cultural Guanin, Inc. has carried on a tradition of helping young people to discover, develop, and achieve their full potential as adults, citizens, and leaders by engaging them in activities that challenge and enrich their minds, bodies, and spirits, and that nurture their self-esteem. Our safe, caring club environments and enriching programs have enabled many young Dominicans to play, learn, and develop valuable skills for life.

Please for more information about the project go to. www.chupap-interregvih.org

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