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Meet BAI’s fabulous teen ‘health leaders’

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BAI has enlisted students to help share information about STIs and teen pregnancies. Photo: BAI
BAI’s latest Peer-to-Peer Health Leaders recruited to pass on information about STIs and teen pregnancies. Photo: Fundación BAI

So what exactly does Fundación BAI do? Where does your donation go?

Yucatán Expat Life is a proud Platinum Sponsor and Media Partner, so we will share some details:

Now in its 10th year, this busy non-profit organization has three strands: education, testing and care. This three-pronged approach is designed to significantly decrease unwanted teenage pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in the Yucatán.

The statistics are alarming, with one new case of HIV or AIDS reported every day last year and 18 adolescent pregnancies every day.

A recent HIV testing marathon of 300 people identified 15 who were positive — a shocking statistic.

So these are still serious health issues, needlessly dashing the aspirations of so many young people, simply for the lack of the specially tailored sex education that BAI provides for free.

So here is BAI’s new teen team, in a video released just today:

This is where BAI’s much respected peer-to-peer education program comes in. Featuring seven of its “health leaders,” age 14 to 16, they are key in passing on the healthy message to their fellow teens.

Volunteer medical students are trained at the BAI Center and they then pass on that knowledge to the students. These students then pass on what they have learned. BAI’s proven track record means the program is now in great demand and BAI wants to roll out the program to even more schools. Since they are wholly funded by voluntary donations, receiving no government financial support, this is where the rest of us come in.

A video has been released introducing BAI's new emissaries. Photo: BAI
A video has been released introducing BAI’s new emissaries. Photo: BAI

If you care about the future of the next generation of Yucatecans, then we are all urged to help them to carry on this vital work. At the BAI website, visitors can donate to pledge. Even a small monthly amount makes a huge difference, the BAI team tells us.

Another important tool used by BAI is HIV Testing, to identify those who are positive and to help them with linkage to care, with BAI’s psychologists and nutritionists supporting them through this difficult moment in their life.

While there is no vaccine the only way to eradicate HIV is by slowly removing its oxygen…and that means identifying all those who are positive and getting them onto the anti retroviral medicines. BAI offers free, rapid and confidential tests at its offices in Jardines de Mérida. Many young people are afraid of bumping into their friends at the local hospitals, so we offer an important alternative. Appointments can be made via the contact page of the website.

Fundraisers

One way to contribute, while having a great time, is to attend their festive Noche Mexicana celebration next week. Food, drink and live music at Hacienda Santa Cruz, all for just 300 pesos per person.

Also the famous Mérida Showcase of Homes, now in its eighth year, will be on Nov. 13. BAI welcomes volunteers who would like to use their talents, meet new friends and give back to the community at the same time. If you are interested you can email mark.callum@fundacionbai.mx.

“Say BAI to unwanted teenage pregnancies!” “Say BAI to HIV!”

 Source: Fundación BAI
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