Rewards are being reaped -- both personally and socially -- by a group intent on sharing their invaluable knowledge on HIV/AIDS.
Following a program equipping 80 students with the knowledge to educate their peers on the deadly virus, thousands of people have been taught preventive methods, while the teachers are proud of their work.
For example, Ying Zi, a third-year student in at Shanghai No 2 Medical University, said: "When I see those who have been taught to spread knowledge about AIDS among their classmates and friends, I have a feeling of success."
Ying is one of the peer educators employed by the Australian-Chinese AIDS/STD/Safer-Sex Peer Education Program for Youth, which concluded its seminar yesterday in Beijing.
Peer education is when teachers are of the same age and status as their pupils.
Ying received such education three years ago when she entered the university, and she became an educator this year.
"At the beginning I felt a bit hesitant to talk publicly about HIV/AIDS," she said, "but later I was encouraged by the fact they all liked my teaching."
The program, which started in 1998, selected senior college students, taught them knowledge about HIV/AIDS and trained them to teach their fellow students, as well as high school students.
Unlike traditional methods of conducting sex education programs through lectures and leaflets, their approach involved more interaction between students and the educators.
Lively methods, like slides, videos, storytelling and games, were included during the process of education.
The 80 students from universities in Beijing and Shanghai taught 1,800 college students and 830 high school students in the two cities.
The program also carried out campaigns for the prevention of HIV/AIDS among 40,000 college students, as well as 8,000 high school students.
A total of 12,000 residents in Beijing and Shanghai were also educated by street campaigns since 1998.
(China Daily November 30, 2001)