JILAF held two seminars in the Training of Peer Educators on HIV/AIDS at the Workplace in Thailand Phase 3 project in July, a final evaluation seminar for first-term educators (July 8-9) and a skill improvement seminar for second-term educators (July 10-11). The seminars was held in Samut Prakan and 50 participants attended. The project is subsidized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan under the scheme of ‘the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects.
The aim of this project was to give trade union leaders in the workplace the opportunity to understand the issues related to HIV/AIDS and, after the acquisition of basic knowledge, to train educators capable of transmitting accurate knowledge to workplaces and communities and thereby eliminating prejudice in Thailand.
Final Evaluation Seminar for First-Term Educators (July 8–9)
Thirty trade union leaders from unions affiliated with the International Trade Union Confederation Thai Council (ITUC-TC) participated in the final evaluation seminar for first-term educators. At the beginning, ITUC-TC President Tavee commented, “The accurate knowledge acquired through this three-year project is spreading in workplaces and communities and making a major contribution to society. From now on also, I hope that seminar participants will continue your activities and contribute toward solving the problem of HIV/AIDS in Thailand.”
Among other things, the seminar consisted of (1) a report by each participant on the implementation of labour-management dialogue and workplace and community seminars; (2) a lecture by JILAF Executive Yoshio Takahashi focusing on the role of trade unions, titled “The Role of Unions in the Great East Japan Earthquake”; (3) a lecture by University of Tokyo Professor Masamine Jimba on “HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis”; and (4) a conclusion and final questionnaires.
The participants made comments such as “From now on, I would like to continue organizing community seminars and seminars in the workplace” and “I want to be proactive so that as many unions as possible tackle the problem of HIV/AIDS.”
Skill Improvement Seminar for Second-Term Educators (July 10–11)
Twenty people participated in the seminar aimed at upgrading the skills of second-term educators. On behalf of JILAF, Mr. Takahashi noted that “The problem of HIV/AIDS in the workplace is not an issue that can be solved by unions alone. Cooperation with management is essential. It is important to build a workplace environment in which infected persons can work with peace of mind.”
Among other things, the seminar consisted of (1) reports from the national centers on the implementation of labour-management dialogue and community seminars; (2) a lecture on labour-management consultations and mock labour-management consultations relating to HIV/AIDS; (3) the compilation by participants of action plans for the implementation of community seminars; and (4) a lecture on how to acquire auditor qualifications for the Thai government’s ASO (AIDS-response Standard Organization) initiative to certify companies that make correct efforts to tackle HIV/AIDS.
In the session on labour-management consultations, mock collective bargaining was held, supposing that there is a situation that the management demands an HIV-positive worker to stay at home. Professor Jimba of the University of Tokyo, expert on the matter, emphasized, “Rather than aggressively appealing to management, it is important to show a cooperative attitude, conveying accurate knowledge about HIV/AIDS and endeavoring to persuade the other party.”
Implemented in three phases, the Training of Peer Educators on HIV/AIDS at the Workplace in Thailand project came to an end with these seminars. The transmission of accurate knowledge about HIV/AIDS to many Thai people through workshop and community seminars was a major accomplishment. From now on, it is hoped that the educators will continue to organize independent activities.
|07/08||Fri||Final evaluation seminar for first-term educators (day 1)|
|07/09||Sat||Final evaluation seminar for first-term educators (day 2)|
|07/10||Sun||Skill improvement seminar for second-term educators (day 1)|
|07/11||Mon||Skill improvement seminar for second-term educators (day 2)|