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Empowering Youth Living with HIV

What is more important to an adolescent living with HIV than medical treatment?



Maarifa is a faith-based holistic approach to educating and empowering adolescents living with HIV.

Maarifa At A Glance

Maarifa at a Glance

What is it about?

  • Maarifa is a Swahili word that means a plan to get over a difficulty, and that is exactly what the Maarifa curriculum does.

  • Most adolescents in the majority world are given medication and taught how to use it. The Maarifa curriculum address the  mental, emotional or spiritual needs of adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV).

  • If adolescents can't see that their lives have meaning and that there is hope for the future there is no incentive to take anti-retroviral treatment (ARVs) or live responsible lives, and they will further be limited in achieving their full potential. The Maarifa curriculum brings ALHIV hope; by giving them a foundation in God, their creator, and value in that they are his children and he has a purpose for their lives.


The Maarifa curriculum is:

  • Developed around a framework called The Armor of Positive Living which is loosely based on Ephesians 6:13 about putting on the Armor of God

  • Designed around a 10-act play and uses the character's lives for discussing the lesson topics

  • Designed with youth appropriate language and illustrations

  • Designed to be adapted for different cultural contexts

  • Includes a Facilitator’s Manual and a Youth Booklet

  • Free to download from

Who is it for?

Target audience: Youth ages 10-19 living with HIV. Younger and older youth may take part in Maarifa depending on their maturity and need.

Ideal Delivery Model:

  • Volunteer facilitators and peer mentors use the Maarifa curriculum as a tool to help ALHIV in their communities live positively 

  • Maarifa classes meet at the clinic where the ALHIV receive treatment

  • Community churches provide food and pastoral support

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Maarifa Movement
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