HIV has the potential to make growing up even tougher than it is already. Even when a young person is motivated to do well, the direct or indirect effects of HIV can negatively impact on young people’s educational achievement. Both HIV positive and HIV-affected children often find themselves missing more school than their peers and often have increased responsibilities within the family. These factors should mean that they receive specialist support from their school so they have the chance to overcome these obstacles. In reality the opposite is often true.
The stigma that still surrounds HIV means that often families choose not to disclose information about HIV and the real needs of the child remain unrecognised. Body & Soul has helped support families to ensure that the children and young people don’t suffer as a result, by the provision of specialist educational support and the provision of a wide range of programmes that
promote positive self-esteem. Children in the BaSe have every chance to build the resilience that has taken many of them to university and to achieve many other goals they set out to reach. Our specialist educational programme Launchpad, is designed to support BaSe members through any challenges that might stand in the way of a positive educational experience.
Our team can help with homework and paired reading and focus on any areas that have been identified as challenging, for example literacy and numeracy, so children don’t fall behind. We know that struggling at school can have a negative impact on a child’s self-esteem and confidence. Our one-to-one support also aims to improve children’s self-image, nurturing their self-confidence so they feel better able to approach challenges and tasks both inside and outside school.