Hope - When children and youth are empowered, despair and an expectation of death are replaced with hope and a desire to "Live a Long, Loving Life."
Empowerment - As children and youth learn to make responsible decisions and accept responsibility for those decisions, personal empowerment is built. By utilizing these skills, children and youth are no longer "destined" to die from HIV/AIDS. They can then embrace a "Long, Loving Life" because they have been empowered with both the knowledge and the skills that will help bring them that life.
Consequential Thinking Skills - Consequential thinking skills are one of the key concepts taught in the Stay Alive program. Learning how to make choices while considering the consequences of those choices, is a tool children need to remain HIV/AIDS disease-free. The Stay Alive program is written to teach children and youth this concept and to help them learn how to use these skills in their daily lives.
Individual Worth - Stay Alive programs help children and youth recognize that they individually are of great worth and deserve to stay alive. Through lessons and activities, children and youth identify their own strengths, talents and abilities and ways in which they can serve others. When they truly understand their individual worth, children and youth are more committed to preserving and protecting their lives.
Responsible Decision Making - Responsible thinking and behavior are tools children and youth need in order to remain HIV/AIDS disease- free. Stay Alive was written to teach children and youth responsible decision-making skills and to help them integrate these skills into their daily lives. Integrity- In order to live long, loving lives, children and youth must live a life of integrity. The Stay Alive program teaches children and youth to live with integrity. They must learn to make responsible decisions and choose what they know is right despite the negative influences around them. The skills of identifying and resisting negative influences are taught and integrated into daily behavior.
Abstinence and Fidelity - The Stay Alive program is based on the concept that the most effective way to remain HIV/AIDS disease- free is by practicing abstinence before marriage and total fidelity within marriage. The Stay Alive program revolves around the family and the part each child and youth now plays, and will play, in a family. Helping children and youth to understand that happiness can come from happy, healthy families is one of the goals of the Stay Alive program.
Emotionally Healthy Relationships - Building and maintaining emotionally healthy relationships where people genuinely care for one another is the final guiding principle of the Stay Alive program. Children and youth learn what it means to genuinely care for one another and how they can build and maintain emotionally healthy relationships throughout their lives.
The primary aims of the program are to:
- Teach children and youth the skills and abilities (including consequential thinking skills, responsible decision-making skills, and the skills needed to withstand negative influences) that will empower and enable them to remain HIV/AIDS disease-free.
- Build and strengthen families (especially family communication regarding values, healthy relationships and appropriate sexual behavior).
- Help children and their families recognize and appreciate the critical role that abstinence and fidelity play in HIV/AIDS prevention.
- Engender hope, individual worth and empowerment within African children.
About the Author: Wendy W. Sheffield, MSW. LCSW
Masters in Clinical Social Work, Brigham Young University, 1987. Extensive work with women, families and children in outpatient, residential treatment, and school settings. Prior to serving as associate field director for the Brigham Young University School of Social Work, she was the clinical director of a school for children and youth with emotional and behavioral challenges. She is the author of "The Family Enrichment Program: A Guide for Strengthening Families Through Weekly Family Night," which has been translated and published in numerous languages and is being used to strengthen families throughout the world. She, her husband, and their three children live in Pleasant Grove, Utah, USA.
(Stay Alive was an original collaboration between Wendy Sheffield and Susan Roylance. United Families International was the original founder of the program.)
Reach the Children
Reach the Children, Inc. (RTC) is the sole licensed organization authorized to administer and implement the Stay Alive program worldwide. If you would like information on how to implement the Stay Alive program in your area, and enter into a sub-licensing agreement to administer the program, please Contact Us to request an application. Once an agreement is reached with your organization, training and assistance will be provided to help you effectively implement the Stay Alive program. If you represent an organization that would like to promote or fundraise for the Stay Alive program, please Contact Us to request an application to become one of our 'Partnering Organizations' and be featured on our Stay Alive website.