CASCADE LEARNING MODEL COMBATS DISEASE AND SOCIAL STIGMA IN DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES
Once a physically strong man, Jure Gaston worked as a karate teacher in
When he was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, Gaston enrolled in Food for the Hungry (FH)
’s HIV/AIDS program to receive
home visits and social support. The program educates those living with HIV/AIDS
about proper nutrition and specific practices like using vitamins and purified
water to boost the immune system. Haiti
Physical care is only a part of the need facing people living with HIV/AIDS in
, as they suffer many hardships
that go beyond the physical symptoms of the disease. The stigma associated with
the disease robs them of social support; they become feared and are ostracized.
In an effort to make the greatest impact on people living with HIV/AIDS, Food for the Hungry (FH) uses a Cascade Learning Model to empower community members to teach, serve and promote health and wellness to others. These leaders then teach 10 others who agree to teach 10 more until the knowledge has rippled out to the entire community.
After Gaston received care, support and training from FH, he regained his life. He became physically stronger and went back to teaching karate. He also took the knowledge he learned from FH and spread it, speaking out about HIV/AIDS to communities to support those living with the disease and educate those who fear it. He has become a seed in his community, planting hope to those who once had none.