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close this bookAIDS Education Through Imams: A Spiritually Motivated Community Effort in Uganda (UNAIDS, 1998, 35 p.)
close this folderMobilizing Muslim communities
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View the documentThe FAEPTI Project
View the documentCommunity action for AIDS prevention
View the documentMadarasa AIDS education and prevention project

Madarasa AIDS education and prevention project

Madarasa school AIDS education curriculum

· Understanding adolescence
· Adolescent friendships
· Peer pressure
· Understanding sexuality
· Facts and myths about HIV/AIDS
· Islamic teachings on safe sex
· Responsible healthy living
· Breaking the stigma
· Peer counselling
· Building positive dreams
· Discussing AIDS with parents

In most parts of the world, the majority of new HIV infection is in children and in young people between the ages of 15 and 24. In 1995, IMAU developed an AIDS education programme for Muslim youth to address a lack of information in this most vulnerable sector of Uganda’s population.

The Madarasa AIDS Education and Prevention Project, funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), works with 350 Madarasa schools in Kamuli and Mpigi Districts. Madarasa schools are informal schools attached to mosques and teach young people important principles of Islamic culture and behaviour. Each school is attended by approximately 50 children ranging up to 15 years of age. Classes include in-school as well as out-of-school youth. Madarasa teachers are Imams or Assistant Imams and some are members of the Uganda Muslim Teachers Association.

IMAU and UNICEF developed an AIDS education curriculum with 36 lessons, each of which can be covered in a 40-minute session on a Saturday or Sunday morning. The curriculum is tailored to be age-appropriate for classes of mixed age groups. The AIDS education session is taught in addition to the religious topic addressed that day.

Madarasa students learn about HIV/AIDS transmission, prevention and control. They are shown how to care for AIDS patients and encouraged to help people in their own communities suffering from AIDS. Teachers and their assistants organize activities that include music, drama, and games. Parents and guardians are encouraged to talk to their children about HIV/AIDS.

IMAU gives training in the use of the AIDS Education Curriculum to 24 supervisors in each district. The supervisors, who themselves are Imams, County Sheikhs or selected assistants, pass on their training to two Madarasa teachers from ten different mosques. Overall, 20,000 Muslim children have been educated since 1995.


“The World AIDS Campaign has helped to draw the attention of political leaders and communities around the world to the devastating effect of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the lives of young girls and boys. Much of the future course of this epidemic will be determined by our ability to ensure that the rights of these children and young people are protected - not only that they are given essential care and support but also that they are given access to information about how HIV is transmitted and to the means to avoid it.”

Dr. Peter Piot
Executive Director of UNAIDS