In Maxixe town, Inhambane province, Mozambique, eleven representatives from local organizations working on HIV/AIDS attended Global Health Communication’s (GHC) three-day training of trainers. During this training, GHC introduced participants to the general concepts of behavior change and the behavior change tools that GHC uses when training peer educators and when conducting Pathways to Change and RAMP.
Participants were excited about the content of our training, not only for use in their HIV-related work, but also in the ways that it could be applied to their own lives. Learning some of the underlying principles of behavior change and the techniques GHC uses to motivate change increased their appreciation for the challenges that at-risk and marginalized groups face. A representative from Lambda, a Mozambican organization for sexual minorities, shared this perspective: “I was there earlier this year and observed when the peer educators were being trained, but I did not understand how important or effective the tools were until I went through this training myself. As an observer, it was difficult to completely understand the potential impact of the tools. Now that I have gone through this process, I can really see the power that these tools have in facilitating behavior change.”
Several participants agreed that the concept of self-efficacy had changed their understanding of behavior change and the barriers that the target populations face. Self-efficacy is the belief in one’s ability to complete a particular task, and it is key to successful behavior change. Thinking about their own self-efficacy in accomplishing different tasks, participants recognized that behavior change was more complex than people needing to simply “try harder”. Finally, as we wrapped up our three-day session, one project partner expressed his experience this way: “I have observed several peer educator trainings, and I thought that I understood the content of the training, however, after this experience I feel like I really understand the essence of the tools that GHC uses.”
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