Lauren’s View ~ PLAFAA

American teens these days have been raised in a media saturated environment. They turn on the TV and there is a rapid-fire torrent of visual stimulation. Phones have their own pulses with the way they constantly vibrate bringing in new messages, tweets, posts, pictures, likes, vines, and videos. With ever advancing technology, social media has grown to be its own beast. So how can this blog cut through all of that noise? Because… it isn’t trying to sell you anything, persuade you to be something or distract you from your thoughts. This blog is about teens participating in Peer Leadership for AIDS-Free Africa and America, a cause that cuts through the monotony and provides hope and help for those who need it. It is an outlet for our youth that doesn’t deal with distractions, self image or media. It’s an opportunity for teens to travel to Swaziland, a small kingdom in Africa, to teach and learn with kids their age in order to create healthier lifestyles. So, instead of distracting yourself or breathing in the media smog that fogs our planet, take a fresh breath of air and learn about what the PLAFAA students are doing to better the world and the lives of underprivileged and orphaned children. PLAFAA is a journey, educational opportunity, and lifetime experience for high school students and their African peers in Swaziland. This blog is meant to provide an inside look at what our students are experiencing on their journey. Peer Leaders for AIDS-Free Africa and America  was launched by Saving Orphans Through Healthcare and Outreach (SOHO) to encourage healthy lifestyle choices for teens both in Swaziland and at home. A successful pilot program in 2013 provided an experience that benefited the American and Swazi students alike as they collaborated in an effort to spread HIV/AIDS awareness throughout their communities. This year, 14 students will travel to Swaziland on June 10. With them, they bring their knowledge and experience on how to take preventative measures against HIV/AIDS and STIs in order to live a safer and healthier life. We are excited to cut through the daily noise as we detail their experiences and include you on all the good being done through the program as well as provide an outlet for teens that differs from the “norm.” If you know teens that would be interested in and benefit from our cause, we hope that you will share this opportunity of a lifetime with them. ~Lauren McCarroll

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