The Regional Children's Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Literacy Toolkit, also known as the Kid's ART Literacy Toolkit, seeks to enable children to gain a comprehensive level of literacy around HIV and ART issues pertinent to them. It aims to empower children (primarily ages 6-11, though the package is also relevant for older children and teens), who are living with HIV, and on ART, and supports them to gain an appreciation of HIV and ART issues and share it with their peers, family, friends, and other members in the community.
This toolkit is designed for children and members of their "Circle of Care", who include:
- teachers within school-based programmes;
- parents and guardians within the family environment;
- leaders within the religious sector; and
- health care workers, social workers, community workers, and counsellors within a service provision context.
According to the publishers, a cascade method of training is used to spread the model to community members who can use and adapt it in creative ways, such as in schools, to reduce stigma and raise awareness. The booklets are designed to help children: unpack the issues related to HIV and ART through various activities, designed using edutainment methodologies; learn simple facts; and participate in making a difference by taking action within their own lives and as members of their community. The booklets cover specific and practical issues for the child, linking their treatment with family, their body, people who support them, their daily life, and their future. Through simple messages and cartoons, children can learn to overcome challenges to adherence, side effects and changes in the body, and integration of treatment into daily living. Finally, the series aims to stimulate children to identify their challenges and fears and develop solutions to these, as well as plan for their future and realise their hopes and dreams.
Each toolkit contains:
- an 8-booklet series with narratives, and "edutaining" activities to address basic facts about HIV and ART, testing and disclosure, support for a child on ART, stigma and discrimination, positive living, adherence, supporting other children on ART, and suggested ways of using the toolkit;
- a child's adherence calendar and a watch, to enhance adherence responsibility amongst children;
- an interactive poster that engages the child to actively process "Respect" as a foundation of being responsible, not violating rights or accepting the violation of rights, and alleviating stigma and discrimination;
- a brochure on tuberculosis (TB) and HIV co-infection, ART, and children;
- 3 advocacy stickers;
- an HIV and ART knowledge board game; and
- a pack of 20 quiz cards on HIV and ART issues.
AF-AIDS e-forum email, July 22 2008, and SAfAIDS website on August 19 2008.