First HIV/AIDS Workshop in Malaysia

Our first HIV/ AIDS workshop was on June 13 at SMK Batu Lapan, a secondary school near Subang Jaya.

SMK Batu Lapan, High School  in Subang Jaya
SMK Batu Lapan, High School in Subang Jaya

In the two days prior to our workshop, we were furiously preparing the presentation, practicing our parts, and ensuring we had all the materials we needed.

Upon our arrival, I was surprised to learn that our workshop will take place in the cafeteria, which was quite exposed to the outside. We did have a microphone, a projector and a screen to help run the presentation.

Just before our presentation is about to start! Group shot with the school counsellor.
Just before our presentation is about to start! Group shot with the school counsellor.

Thankfully, our Prezi worked like a charm and we were able to go through the workshop without too many unexpected difficulties.

Our attentive audience!
Our attentive audience!

Our audience of 150 students sat on the benches and dutifully listened to us talk about various aspects of HIV and AIDS. We also included a small demonstration where students would get up on stage with us to “act out” how HIV affects the human immune system. Although they were a little reluctant to participate at first, we did manage to get a few students to pretend to be the white blood cells.

Ralph explains how HIV damages the white blood cells
Ralph explains how HIV damages the white blood cells (students with white balloons) and harms the body (as represented by Dominika)

As I’m writing this post a couple of weeks after our first workshop, I can definitely say that we have refined our presentation since then. We had more time to rehearse our parts and we are more familiar with the entire routine. Overall, I think it was a good start for holding workshops: we followed our schedule, spoke clearly, and got the attention of our audience.

After our workshop, the counsellor invited us to have brunch at the school. We enjoyed an excellent mee hoon goreng (fried rice vermicelli) with egg and vegetables.

Group brunch after the workshop
Group brunch after the workshop

With a final goodbye, we left the school and finished our first HIV/AIDS workshop in Malaysia!

Group Photo: with the school counsellor, Vivian, Krystal, and exchange participants.
Group Photo: with the school counsellor, Vivian, Krystal, and exchange participants.
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