Migrant fair, 2011


The second migrant fair was held on the 18th of February 2011 on the ground behind Dharubaaruge. This half day event was held for migrants and resorts workers, so they can explore information and participate in activities that could improve their ability to protect themselves from HIV and STIs.  According to the year 4 work plan of the Global Fund project with Society for Health Education (SHE), a total of 4 migrant fairs are to be held by the end of quarter 16.

The event attracted a large number of expatriate population and all were very enthusiastic. The participants strongly endorsed the event, and migrant peer educators expressed further interest in serving as a core group to assist in future events. Following feedback from participants, migrant peer educators and employees who supported this event, the event hours should be extended, with opportunities for more participants.


A situation assessment of HIV/AIDS in the Maldives found that within the Maldives; there is a very mobile population. Increasing economic prosperity, development and growth over the last decade have resulted in increased levels of migration both within and out of the country. Large infrastructure    and development projects in tourism and construction industry encouraged expatriate workers and young people from all over the country to move to major locations.

However, in areas of rapid economic development and increasing internal migration, factors such as separation from family and communities and poor working conditions contribute to an increased vulnerability of migrants and mobile populations to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections as they engage in unsafe behaviors such as unprotected sex and injecting drug use. Additionally, as HIV prevention and health care services are not specifically targeted towards migrants and mobile populations these groups tend to have poorer access to such services. This is especially true for migrants and mobile people who are often not registered as residents in the area where they work.

The First Biological and Behavioral survey 2008 on HIV/AIDS looked at male migrant workers in Male’ who might be at risk of HIV. The mapping estimated a total of 7,524 migrant construction workers in Male’ alone, but there are many more migrant laborers in the Maldives. The Ministry of Human Resources, Youth and Sports reported a total of 80, 839 expatriates working in the Maldives as of 31st Dec 2008.Migrant workers are required to have HIV tests in order to work in the Maldives. Till 30th September, the Maldives has deported 265 migrants who were found to be HIV+. In other words, in theory HIV prevalence among migrants is 0. However there is no accounting for the “window period”– a period of 1 to 6 months (depending on the test given) after infection with HIV but before sufficient antibodies are   present to register in an HIV test. Some migrants have surely entered the Maldives during their “window period.” Others may have been infected while in the Maldives.

To protect themselves against this possibility, Expatriate population urgently need skills and information related to HIV.

Developing the event Plan:

The half daylong event was planned by the SHE, Global Fund Programme Management team. An event plan was developed, including a number of activities with new materials to attract the migrant population.

3 tents were placed with the support from Asaree services Pvt.Ltd in the location for Peer to Peer Information, distribution of BCC materials, Games with the counseling team of SHE and a Jumble Sale.

Banners and flags with strong HIV messages were placed in the location for visibility.

Description of the Event

The event was conducted in a learning mode where migrants were able to reach the peer educators and obtain the information. Peer educators in all six languages, Bengali, Tamil, Sinhalese, Nepali, Hindi and English, were present. Migrants were provided with leaflets in their respective languages and peer educators explained the modes of transmission, methods for prevention as well as myths and misconceptions regarding HIV. Migrants in turn made inquiries. Each migrant who received information from the peer educators were provided with a gift item.

Migrants were also able to gain the necessary information in a fun and innovative method through the Game stall held by the Counseling Department of SHE. High risk game and Candy game was played with groups of migrants. This activity was conducted along with the peer educators as they provided translation. The games were most effective as the migrants were able to understand the concept displayed through the games.

A jumble sale was also held by the staff recreation club of SHE. Many items were sold at the stall. It was a huge success and provided an attraction for migrants to the fair.

Evaluation of the Event

The event was very effective mode of reaching to a vast population of migrants in one go. The peer educators were able to reach out to groups of people as well as individuals which enabled the information to be conveyed effectively.

Since the event was solely conducted for the target population, the migrants were comfortable in the atmosphere.


  • All activities succeeded in meeting the event objectives.
  • Referrals were made to SHE VCT
  • An estimate of 500 migrants was reached.


  1. Increase the hours of the event in providing opportunities for more expatriate population to gain information.
  2.  2. To have a food stall in the next event, as it would increase the turnout of migrants.





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 Photo Gallery of activity

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