Malama Pono awarded grants for Condom Sense campaign

LIHU‘E — Malama Pono Health Services was  awarded two grants from the Safeway Foundation and Macy’s, Inc. for its Condom Sense campaign.

The nonprofit organization did not disclose the amount of the grants, but Director of Women and Youth Prevention Services Faith Harding said the money will be used to elevate its youth-oriented condom campaign.

“We are hoping to do other types of events,” Harding said. “We want to do an event at the skateboard park in Kapa‘a and upload videos to our YouTube channel.”

Currently, the media outreach campaign utilizes Public Service Announcements to educate Kaua‘i’s youth about sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, unintended pregnancies and condom use. The radio spots are written and performed by Kaua‘i youth, and use pidgin words and phrases to identify with Kaua‘i’s youth.

A new PSA will debut this week in observance of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Saturday. The campaign will branch out from its all-male PSA to include female voices.

“There are many ways to provide prevention services on Kaua‘i,” D.Q. Jackson, executive director of Malama Pono Health Services, stated  in a news release. “The Condom Sense program is one method and it is increasingly being recognized for quantifiable, measurable and demonstrable results.”

The Kaua‘i-based intervention program is the first of its kind, and Harding said she is “all about collaboration, and if anyone in the neighbor island (service organizations) wants to get involved, just give me a call.”

Harding also said to look for an event featuring the Condom Sense team on June 27 in observance of National HIV Testing Day.

For more information about Malama Pono Health Services, visit www.Malama-Pono.org or call 246-9577.

• Andrea Frainier, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681, ext. 257 or afrainier@ thegardenisland.com.

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