Youth Space

Differentiated service delivery in the time of COVID-19

By Micheal Senyonga, Uganda

Have you ever heard a single word that completely changes your life?

When the AIDS 2020 CONFERENCE was announced, I had all my hopes high to be part of the conference. I was curious to board a flight for the first time in my life!

When COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, the conference was then declared a virtual one. I never thought that I would grasp something important via the online format.

As the word suggested the “NEW NORMAL”, I attended the AIDS 2020 live session on DIFFERENTIATED SERVICE DELIVERY IN 2020 – Responding to the needs of people living with HIV before, during and after COVID 19 supported by UNICEF.

This was a life changing session that changed the whole story of my service rendering to my community. As the National MR Y+ Ambassador in Uganda it was my role to restructure how we reach out to my peers living with HIV. Moreso, being supported by the Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV we launched a campaign of peers need peers which involved ensuring HIV treatment delivery to our peers.

The session guided me on how to change and get to the new normal of service delivery. Working with a team of ambassadors we ensured no one is left behind and thus providing psychosocial support too to our young people.

I managed to reach out to different influencers in the community writing to them about the issue of nutrition to the young people living with HIV, thank God that the Session ably built my passion to speak to decision makers. The letters and phone calls I made to them, a positive response was given with over 1500 YPLHIV being given food that would take them through for a full month. It was a great surprise to me that I got to learn from that session but even more other sessions that inspired my life as a young leader.

I thank UNICEF, Y+ Global and UNYPA for providing me with such an opportunity.