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This page is part of the PCP HIV AIDS Toolkit.

Activities with OFWs

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Gathering Information

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OFWs are one of the most vulnerable groups to HIV/AIDS and other STI’s and also constitute a significant portion of the population. Due to the low level of reproductive health education in the Philippines, many Filipinos are unaware of many of the dangers involved with sexual intercourse or the methods of protecting themselves or their partners. Current and potential OFWs work with local recruiting agencies as well as government PESO employment offices to find work overseas. Volunteers can work with these points of contact to help organize different education opportunities in their community.

Be Prepared

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OFWs will normally participate in a pre-departure orientation designed to educate them about major issues they will encounter living overseas. These can be great opportunities for volunteers to get in contact with OFWs before they go overseas and educate them about how to protect themselves before they are placed in a high-risk situation. There is generally little oversight over OFWs once they return to the Philippines, and OFWs are generally only tested for STIs if they reapply to work overseas, so pre-emptive education is currently the best method of prevention for these groups. Volunteers should try to schedule a meeting with their local PESO office manager and discuss how they can get involved with educating OFWs about HIV/AIDS.

Creating a Project

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Projects with OFWs can often be simple as they can be attached to pre-existing OFW assistance programs such as orientations or information seminars. Also, if working with a pre-existing framework, it can be relatively simple to help train facilitators on additional materials related to HIV/AIDS.

Project Ideas

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  • Community Outreach: talk to OFW families about various OFW issues, including HIV/AIDS
  • Flyer/Pamphlet Campaign: hand out to recruiting agencies/PESO offices/OFW families to mail to OFWs overseas
  • Training of Trainers: provide training to interested individuals so that they can facilitate HIV/AIDS education after your service