the friend online
09 February 2007

International Edition: Supporting HIV Counselling in Kenya
I have been developing a relationship with people doing HIV counselling in Kenya for several years now. Counselling in Kenya has expanded rapidly largely in response to the HIV pandemic which reached a peak in Kenya of 15 per cent in the 1990s, the most recent figure is 7 per cent of the population (UNAIDS/WHO, 2005). Among young people the infection rate is even higher. It is hard here in Britain to imagine the human impact of HIV on a third world country like Kenya.

On behalf of my university I visit and validate a Masters in Counselling programme run by the Kenya Association of Professional Counsellors (KAPC) a non-government organisation based in Nairobi. KAPC was set up in 1990 in response to the HIV crisis in Kenya and it trains HIV counsellors, offers HIV counselling and testing and is involved in sex education with young people and in HIV research. Since its inception KAPC has recognised that changing behaviour is the only effective and sustainable way to defeat the AIDS pandemic. During this time it has promoted counselling as a strategy to encourage and support people while they change their behaviour.

To support this change mechanism KAPC has developed counsellor training programmes and in 1995 it introduced an MA programme developed in collaboration with CESCO at the University of Durham. The local trainers at KAPC have taken an increasingly active role in this training to the point where the current course, which started in September 2005, is solely delivered by KAPC trainers.

The mature part-time students on the course usually have a background in teaching, nursing or the church and some of them get financial support for their training whilst others rely on their extended families to help. Course fees can often be paid for by the sale of goats and calves.

I have been involved in the teaching of an innovative professional doctorate in counselling programme at the University of Manchester (such programmes are becoming increasing popular in teaching, clinical psychology etc) and KAPC have approached me with the idea of teaching a modified version of this programme in Nairobi. Such a course and qualification represents a next step for the students qualified at Masters' level and enables them to take a leading role in the further development of counselling and other important responses to the HIV crisis.

Whilst my University is supportive of the idea and has done a lot to hold down course fees as much as possible they will still cost several thousands pounds per year for the 6 years of the course. This cost for one year at PhD level is equivalent to the total cost of the MA. Such a fee is beyond what many suitably qualified Kenyan can afford. There is s small charity, Energy Stream Charitable Trust, which acts on behalf of KAPC in Britain. I am very happy to provide anyone interested with further information and KAPC has a very informative web site –

William West, Hardshaw East Monthly Meeting


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International Edition: Supporting HIV Counselling in Kenya
William West, Hardshaw East Monthly Meeting
News round-up
Meeting for Sufferings round-up
Prometheus awakes?
Stephen Cox, Westminster Monthly Meeting
Judy Kirby & Metford Robson
Preparing hearts & minds
Lee Taylor
An authority on early Quakers
Ben Pink Dandelion
Make them legal, make them free
Alan Sealy
Meeting for Sufferings is turning
Anthony Gimpel, Leicester MM
Country of the Week: Latvia


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