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June 21, 2010

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Ally Babu: An inspirational young guy

By Cynara Vetch

At the screening in Arusha we met an inspirational young guy called Ally Babu. He is unemployed and desperately searching for a job to support his family but in any spare time he has he works as a volunteer for Africa Wings and Family Health International. HIV is a key issue for Ally.

“I’m working with FHI because it is a way to convey my feelings and opinions to people. People are dying, we’re losing important people. Every family has been touched by this disease, in my family I lost my uncle, he was an engineer, he really helped me. Due to that I decided to fight this disease and start a youth club” he told me.

Ally won scholarships to a prestigious school in Tanzania and was destined to study International Relations at University. Unfortunately his policeman father was forced to retire recently and can no longer afford to send him. Ally is putting his education on hold for the moment and looking at how to use his schooling to help his community, he believes change starts with the young.

“Before you change others you have to change yourself, I’m always telling my local leaders to change before asking others to change, that have to do something before asking people to do something…It is the same for me, before I could tell others around me to change I had to change my behaviour and not risk HIV.”

Ally’s present project is to set up a health club for young people unable to go to school in Arusha.

“Students in school have teachers who can help set up health clubs but youth in the community who are not at school are not getting that opportunity. I was at school, now I’m going to found a health club so that others can benefit like I did, I’m trying to convince others like me so we can do it together. I dreaming about this. People think this work can only be done with big NGOs that have lots of money. We need to change this idea, we need to start from the community.”

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