Muhudin A/Dura a young seventeen year-old tenth grade student at Sokoru Secondary School in Ethiopia was known to have bad habits and an addiction to substances like alcohol and khat, a highly addictive drug. Muhudin spent all his time in the streets. However, all this changed after Muhudin started attending “Choose Life” sessions organised by Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) through its partner Fayyaa Integrated Development Association (FIDA). This project has been made possible through funding received from USAID.
The aim of this project is to eliminate new HIV infections by positively impacting the lives of young single and married individuals by changing the behaviour of unmarried youth through committing to abstinence from sex before marriage and for those who are married to remain faithful to their spouse.
After attending a number of behavioural change sessions, Muhudin stopped chewing khat and refrained himself from drinking alcohol as he realised that these were instrumental in his engaging in sexual acts, thus putting him at risk of being infected with the HIV virus. He started living an exemplary life and became a well-disciplined young person in his village town, Sokoru.
Currently, Muhudin also started to declare the importance of attending Choose Life sessions and became a Leader of one of the youth groups. Muhudin himself testified by saying, “These Choose Life sessions have changed my life for good and I can boldly say that I will not return back to my bad life style that I had been practicing before. I am working very hard to convince my friends and others to adopt a good behavior by organizing and preparing entertainment events such as drama and theater”.
Adapted from NPI FIDA's report received in January 2009