It is an endless feeling of happiness what we feel when we see our work has paid off. When we at AID FOR AIDS (AFA) dream of a goal, it does not take long before we see it coming true. That’s what happened when we dreamed of opening the first ¿Cuánto Sabes? Prevention and Training Center in the Guna Yala indigenous community, located in Panama. In addition to the happiness we received by achieving this new goal, it is important to highlight that AFA is the first NGO to reach this community. We knocked on the door, and they let us into their amazing community, so we can all together achieve, not only an AIDS free generation, but a responsible, active and supportive world.
The opening of the ¿Cuánto Sabes? Center was held on April 26. We had the special participation of Miss Universe 2009, Stefanía Fernández, as well as the authorities of the community (Sahila, cacique and spokesmen), the Executive Director of AFA, Jesús Aguais, the Director and Founder of AFA Panama, Trina María Aguais, and part of the executive team and partners of AID FOR AIDS Panama.
The main goal of this initiative is to turn the facilities and services that AFA currently provides to the Guna Yala Indigenous Community into an advocacy and social development center based on the principles of sustainable development and the strengthening of life skills.
The Guna Yala region is a confederation of 51 communities, 49 of which are Guna-speaking and 2 Spanish-speaking, the latter located in the eastern part of the region. Politically, the province is divided into 4 districts, the village of Nargana, the village of Ailigandi, the village of Tubuala, and the village of Puerto Obaldía.
Currently, the community has a health center, rural water, landing strip, the SailaIguanaisy Basic General Education Center, two hotels and AFA’s ¿Cuanto Sabes? training hall. In this training center the Guna Yala community participates in order to learn about the prevention and care of HIV, as well as life skills, which enable a healthy and responsible life.
Now the Guna Yala community can count on the extraordinary support of AID FOR AIDS. The opening of this center fills us with hope, solidarity and excitement, since we understand we are expanding our scope and mission.
We are confident that we are just beginning to enjoy this new challenge.
Thank you so much to the Guna Yala community!