Rating: 5 stars 14 reviews
Issues: Education, Health, Human Services
Location: P.O. Box 18701 Stanford CA 94309 USA
Programs: TeachAIDS utilizes a rigorous research-based process to develop medically accurate, culturally tailored HIV/AIDS educational animations. To minimize stigma associated with discussing sexual practices, they combine biological aspects of HIV/AIDS with cultural euphemisms and utilize animated agents to maximize comfort and efficacy. In partnership with national and international organizations, and incorporating the voices of global cultural icons, TeachAIDS disseminates free animated curricula to educators around the world.
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To be honest, I am completely smitten with TeachAIDS. And with good cause. I discovered them whilst searching for jobs/organizations I would readily add to my "has-a-heart-and-soul" list. While I found dozens and dozens of nonprofits also committed to sustainable growth and development, TeachAIDS resonated with me on whole other level. Their meticulous, research-based, culturally sensitive approach to HIV/AIDS prevention education can be likened to nothing I've yet seen! I was privileged to have worked on a number of fundraising and development projects in the past and will forever remain a part of the T.A family in the future.
In addition to the phenomenal work TeachAIDS engages in at the global level (which speaks for itself), I was equally struck by how they operate with such integrity at the local level. Having lived, breathed and worked all things nonprofit for the better part of my life, I cannot stress how important this is!! The very clear "outward orientation" of their work, coupled with a wholesale lack of ego, has allowed for a seamless adoption of TeachAIDS materials in more than 70 countries and counting!
I was not drawn to volunteer on account of the breadth of their work-- plenty of organizations also have an impressive international scope--but because of their unique model of sustainability. TeachAIDS materials are free of charge, licensed through Creative Commons, and help to facilitate meaningful community engagement. Every interested man, woman, or child can obtain, disseminate and implement the materials in a manner best suited for their community. This means TeachAIDS is not a distant 'parent' organization sitting thousands of miles out, determining *what* the implementation process will look like. Simply put, they develop incredibly high quality applications and offer them generously (read: no strings attached) to the world.
If any of this resonates with you, I would highly recommend taking stock of your talents and resources to see if there might be a natural fit. If you're geographically or otherwise limited, perhaps you can at least help to spread the word about TeachAIDS. There are numerous opportunities to speak up for populations who might not have the voice or audience we so freely enjoy!
*This is an entirely unsolicited and honest assessment of my experience with TeachAIDS.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
During my time at TeachAIDS, I was privy to the remarkable growth from 50 to now over 70 countries utilizing TeachAIDS materials. This was by the collaboration of everyone from Heads of State, educators, religious communities, and thoughtful citizens, worldwide! The sheer level of engagement and initiative by multi-level stakeholders speaks for itself.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
If I had to make one change to this organization, I would include (*resources permitting, of course) more volunteer programs in domestic as well as international locations.
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Wow...where to begin!? Most impressive: TeachAIDS conducted incredibly thorough needs assessments, ethnographic/educational/health research *before* it developed its framework and content. This may sound "obvious" enough, but I assure you PLENTY of well-intentioned organizations establish themselves around the assumed needs of their audience(s.) Really, TeachAIDS operates as more of a facilitator/catalyst for growth and education, and not as the teacher itself. It leaves the *how* to best use the materials up to the local communities.