Publication Date

2008

Abstract

Over the last decades there have been numerous studies conducted and papers written looking at non-formal education, community health, and HIV/AIDS but it is not until recently that there has been a focus on linking literacy and health of an individual or community. Literacy groups have a very powerful and influential role in improving the health of those involved, as well as the ability to act as a pathway towards social change, empowering people to take action to demand better preventative services, treatment and care. As a Peace Corps volunteer in rural South Africa, the author participated in multiple levels of community life, including the community literacy group. This research paper begins to examine the role of non-formal education groups to promote HIV/AIDS health seeking behaviors as part of an integrated healthcare support system, which is rooted in literacy. It utilizes data that was collected through questionnaires and in-depth interviews of female participants involved in Family Literacy Project, a non-formal adult literacy group located in the Southern Drakensberg Mountains of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The author examines two existing models as a framework for an integrated model of healthcare rooted in literacy. The two existing models are a literacy model designed by ActionAid called REFLECT and a Community Health Model that is the foundation for the work of Partners in Health. By examining the data collected through observation, questionnaires and in-depth interviews, a model of integrated health was created and presented in the conclusion with recommendation for further research.

Disciplines

Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Education | Public Health Education and Promotion

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