AIDSLINE
The National AIDS Hotline of Trinidad and Tobago
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Volunteering


Profile of a volunteer listener

"I volunteered for the hotline service when it first started, after I saw an advertisement in the newspaper. And I had seen a foreign programme on AIDS that ended by stating that if you knew of any project in your community, get involved.

I have had many memorable experiences on the line. One caller's brother, who lived abroad, had confided in her that he had full-blown AIDS and asked her not to tell their parents. She had no one to talk to and called frequently, saying the hotline was her only support system. I was so glad I was there. I was especially touched by a caller who learned that her boyfriend was bisexual only when he died of AIDS. His parents had kept the information from her.

I have witnessed changes over the years. Callers are now more open, more trusting of the line. Younger people are volunteering. The big change is in the data forms, which are more in-depth.

I volunteer because I need and want to be here. Committed volunteers are the strength of the hotline and struggle along with it when funds are low. Still, people do not seem to understand just how serious the HIV/AIDS situation is in Trinidad and Tobago."


If you would like to become a volunteer, please contact us for an application form: Tel: 800-4448 or e-mail: aidsline@tstt.net.tt

Most volunteers are able to give at least 2 to 3 hours per week. Our volunteers come from all walks of life, have varied occupations, religious beliefs, and philosophies. There are currently 120 registered volunteers, of whom 33% are active. Among current volunteers, the age range is from 22 to 70.

Our volunteers are trained on HIV/AIDS and in telephone communication techniques. Our "listeners" receive on-going training and up-dates on HIV/AIDS. They are also carefully selected, bearing in mind the confidential nature of our service.

To become a "listener", you will need to complete an application form, submit a résumé and have a face-to-face interview. The selection criteria are: willingness to participate, compassion, the ability to be non-judgemental and open to new information, and being a good listener with a courteous telephone manner.



Contact us at:
tel: 800-4448 / e-mail: aidsline@tstt.net.tt





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