Peer Education

peer education
Since 2009, the Global Fund has been sponsoring 2 peer educators at Chrysalide to conduct prevention work amongst sex workers. Our peer educators are former sex workers, drug addicts and prisoners. They have both followed the rehabilitation program at Chrysalide and have succeeded in the change of life they were longing for. Following what, they were willing to “give back” and help out their peers. Under the Global Fund program, our peer educators are trained on HIV/Aids and STIs, Harm Reduction Programs such as the Methadone Substitution Program and the Needle Exchange Program. Peer educators are targeting sex workers for prevention and harm reduction. They visit sex workers out on the streets in massage parlors and other hot spots such as the Company’s Garden and Rose Hill Station. Not only do they provide information on HIV/Aids and STIs, distribute condoms and lubricants, they also provide emotional support and accompany sex workers to medical centers.

Our peer educators have a great understanding of services providers and administrative procedures to access the services around the island. On a day to day basis, they move around the island to counsel sex workers and direct them to appropriate services according to their needs.

Peer education has proven to be a best practice as only a peer feels that she “belongs” with the group and is also “recognized” by the group. Sex workers generally feel more comfortable to talk about their personal lives and take advice from a peer rather than with a complete stranger and outsider who “can’t understand”. Finally peer educators have a more genuine approach with sex workers, they have the “know how” better than anyone else as they have been in the same situation themselves.