The PEPLA Story
The Peer Education Program of Los Angeles (PEP/LA) was incorporated in 1990 and is a non-profit public benefit organization that does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, gender or sexual orientation. All of PEP/LA's trainings, outreach activities, evaluation and administrative responsibilities are done by volunteers; there are no paid staff members.
We maintain a team of 20-25 multi-cultural teen peer educators who are recruited from high schools, placement centers and group homes in the Greater Los Angeles area. All of the peer educators have received at least 24 hours of training and attend bi-monthly meetings where they get medical updates in HIV/AIDS, additional strategies for communication with peers and information regarding their upcoming speaking events.
In 2009, the PEP/LA peer educators met directly with more than 7,000 teens and 600 adults. We speak with many diverse groups of parents, school administrators, psychologists, group home staff members, probation officers, and medical care providers ("Trainers") about HIV/AIDS information as it relates specifically to teens. We highlight the effectiveness of teen-to-teen education in adolescent health promotion and positive sexuality.
Accompanied by a volunteer adult facilitator, the peer educators lead small group discussions for teens in schools, religious organizations, residential facilities, runaway/homeless drop-in shelters and drug rehabilitation centers. The peer educators are matched as closely as possible to the demographics and backgrounds of the recipient teens. A particular highlight of PEP/LA educational outreach is the inclusion of our friends living with HIV/AIDS who share their stories and personify the urgency to take precautions to modify risk-taking behaviors associated with HIV transmission.
PEP/LA depends on individual contributions, corporate donations, foundations and fundraisers to operationalize our goal of decreasing the number of HIV infections in youth and increasing the care, compassion, and hope of our friends locally, nationally and internationally who live with HIV/AIDS. To meet our goal, we need financial support for the following four projects:
PEP/LA Trainings and educational outreach: Reproduction of "Training Manuals", purchase of educational resources, distribution of informational handouts; office supplies and rent for the PEP/LA office and training venues; recruitment of multi-cultural teens; bi-annual trainings for 30-40 peer educators, adult facilitators and friends with HIV/AIDS; bi-monthly meetings for volunteers ; supplies, transportation and bus fares for educational outreach activities; program promotion, publicity and evaluation; volunteer incentives, such as T-shirts, daily planners, PEP/LA pens, awards, buttons; more.
Establishment of "PEP/Satellites": Promotion, recruitment of youth, training and monitoring of PEPs in underserved communities; development of "PEP clubs in HIV/AIDS prevention" in schools and youth organizations; stipends for the PEP directors; materials and incentives for" PEP/Satellite" participants; more.
"Empowerment of friends living with HIV/AIDS": Honorariums for participation at PEP/LA trainings, meetings and events; transportation; comforts and refreshments; more.
PEP/International programs: Because of financial constraints within so many developing countries requesting the two week training program, we need funding for airfare, development of materials, training supplies, red ribbons, awards, certificates of completion, participatory exercises and games, press releases, pre/post-tests, gifts and presents, and laminated posters. Upon arrival, the 'in situ' expenses include: accommodations, meals, local transportation, travel costs for training participants, training venue, meals and refreshments for youth peer educators and "Trainers" and PEP sustainability. The two-week project, inclusive of all workshops, presentations, seminars and meetings, averages $8,000 for the establishment of each international PEP. We seek sponsors for pending programs in Haiti, Nigeria, Togo, and for additional trainings in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
We look forward to gaining your partnership with these very worthwhile programs within PEP/LA. Your donation is tax deductible and you will be directly contributing to fighting the medical, emotional, social and economic devastation of HIV/AIDS. Thanks for your serious consideration.