I admit when I pictured my time in Liberia, I didn’t picture doing this!
Today I was invited to Armsay Academy to teach the children about HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Typhoid, and proper hand washing. There were over 60 students present. The ages ranged from 6-15 years old. I was encouraged by the eagerness to learn from the students. They not only remained engaged but they asked thought provoking questions. I felt overjoyed seeing a bunch of little hands waving in the air, eager to ask questions and learn.
Three of my main objectives in doing this presentation was: First, that they understand how HIV is transmitted and that they do not stigmatize those who have it. Second, that they understand how to prevent malaria and typhoid. And finally, that they know how and when to properly wash their hands. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that most of them knew these things. I’m encouraged that they will pass along the information to their family and friends and they can be a part of making Liberia a healthier country.
Furthermore, every Friday I do a health talk segment on the Grace to Liberia radio station. In one of the sessions I talked about peptic ulcers, hypertension, and diabetes (three very common cases seen in Liberia) and when to see a country doctor or a medical doctor. Last week I did a session on sex education with Madison. I talked about STIs, birth control, consent and pregnancy myths. Madison talked about what God has to say about sex and intimacy. This coming Friday I’ll be talking about hygiene.
I admit when I pictured my time in Liberia, I didn’t picture doing educational segments. I had a different picture in mind. But nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed doing public health education. I’m learning to trust God in this process and to be content “being” exactly where I am. So I am taking every unexpected opportunity by the hand and running with it.