Published on January 7, 2008
Slide1: Theatre and the UN Millennium Development Goals: Young People and AIDS Slide2: The UN Millennium development goal is a challenge to every nation every state every institution and every individual. It is a challenge because for a nation to achieve it, commitment on the part of individual is a priority These goals seeks to create a world - Free of health hazards and life threatening diseases - Conflict - Conducive for harmonious existence Slide3: The theatre can be an effective vehicle to - Pass on information - Educate - Entertain - Conscientize - Sensitize - Motivates and - Bring about development. The theatre has a more virile way to galvanise people into action than would a speech. Slide4: However, before the theatre can effectively perform its role, the practitioners need - To be discipline - Conversant with the tools of the trade - Knowledgeable in the issue/ topic they want to pass on. Otherwise the theatre would poison the minds of the people it intends to change positively. Slide5: The theatre artist in our part of the world comprise mainly of youths because they consider it an alternative forum to channel their energies and make their voices heard. I am talking about age range 12 – 35yrs (for Sierra Leone) even though the UN’s definition is different. Slide6: They are virile active partners in development and forms a majority in the population Slide7: However there is a great divide between the urban youth and the rural youth the educated youth and the illiterate Slide8: Because of these disparity and the role they played during the conflict, the government has embarked on programmes to empower the youths. Now more than ever several campaigns are being embarked upon. One such campaign is the reproductive health which includes HIV& AIDS Slide9: The status of HIV & AIDS in Sierra Leone According to “The Health sector HIV/AIDS response group” annual report (November 2003) the first case of HIV was reported in 1987 and by the end of December 2002, 1028 cumulative case of AIDS has been confirmed of which 510 have died. The report also states that more than 45000 Sierra Leoneans were living with the virus in 2003. Slide10: No conclusive results exist on the HIV prevalence in the general population nor amongst the youths as behavioural surveys carried out in the past were limited in scope and coverage to selected segments of the population. However it was evident that knowledge of the disease was low. Slide11: The Response Strong responses are currently developed to halt a potential outburst of the epidemic. Efforts have been made by both government and other institutions: Slide12: The National AIDS Coordinating Program (NACP) which was established in 1987 in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) to coordinate the HIV and AIDS activities in the country has given way to a World Bank supported multisectoral HIV/AIDS initiative known as the Sierra Leone HIV & AIDS Response Program (SHARP project). Slide13: The Cabinet sub committee on HIV/AIDS was established in May 2001.- A National policy on HIV/AIDS was formulated and now adopted into law in March 2002, which clearly considered HIV and AIDS a multi-sectoral socio-development problem Slide14: A variety of Non Governmental Organisation (NGOs), community Based Organisations (CBOs) and UN Agencies have started to implement HIV/AIDS activities. A national campaign strategy for HIV & AIDS was developed in 2002. Both youths and theatre artists were part of the series of workshop to develop the document. Slide15: THE SIERRA LEONEAN ARTISTS The theatre artist is now is now being sought after for all sort of campaign and artists are being consulted more often than before on a wide range of issues affecting our society. Slide16: The theatre artists in Sierra Leone can be categorised along a broad spectrum amateurs with no educational background amateurs with some level of education but no experienced or trained directors amateurs with trained personnel professionals with other sources of income professionals who are full time artists Slide17: Several groups are involved in the dissemination of information on HIV &AIDS. Their methodologies vary and are dependent on the availability of funds. Gradually artists are moving into the rural areas to disseminate information about HIV& AIDS but because of cost implications not much inroads have been made. Slide18: Unfortunately audiovisual records are not easy to come by as sponsoring bodies generally refuse to fund it. The easily available records are those that are converted to video recording to be played at the local television studio. Slide19: PROJECTS CARRIED OUT BY THE SIERRA LEONE CENTRE WITH FUNDING FROM UNICEF Project I-SENTISATION OF HIV/ AIDS USING COMMUNITY THEATRE Project II –TRANSLATION INTO TV SPOTS Project III –PERFORMANCES IN HONOUR OF UNICEF GOODWILL AMBASSADORS Slide20: PROJECT 1: SENSITIZATION ON HIV& AIDS AND THE REDUCTION OF FEAR & SHAME AMONGST PEOPLE LI VING WITH HIV& AIDS USING COMMUNITY THEATRE. Slide21: Phase 1: Training of Trainers Twenty professional artists drawn from ITI registered groups and teachers and lecturers of drama were trained by eminent personalities in the field of medicine, guidance counselling and drama. Slide22: Topic epidemiology of HIV, its mode of transmission preventive measures and care for people living with HIV& AIDS combating stigma origin, mode and potency of community theatre tools of an actor play development Slide23: After the lecture and discussion sessions participants were divided into to develop songs on - Education of stigma and discrimination - Motivation of people to love and care for people living with HIV & AIDS - On the slogan ‘only you can stop AIDS’ and to create -Scenarios around HIV& AIDS. Slide24: Critical appraisals were then carried out and the best scenarios were then fused into one play that was interspersed with the best song that introduces or close a scenario. The use of traditional instruments and dance formed part of the play. Slide25: This play was performed at the world AIDS Day celebration ( with an approximate audience of over six hundred and at the launching of SHARP( with an approximate audience of over two hundred). Slide26: Both ceremonies had important stakeholders and policy makers who are in positions to make effective use of the theatre. The quality and content was so good that the president requested that it be electronically reproduced for all Sierra Leonean to see. Unfortunately nobody was ready to fund it reproduction. The Centre could not even lay hands on a copy. Slide27: The same methodology was used in the training of group leaders and teachers of Drama. Each trainee then went back to their school drama group or theatre company to prepare for the next phase of the project. Slide28: PHASE II Inter secondary school drama competition Since the target group for the project were adolescent the inter secondary school was considered the best outlet where more adolescent could be reached Slide29: The themes were promotion of virginity delayed abstinence reduction of fear and stigma amongst people living with HIV& AIDS Slide30: Every school group was asked to perform their play to the rest of the school The elimination series and semi finals were held at various school grounds; the east, the west and the central. Workshop.: Workshop. ANNIE WALSH SEC. SCH.: ANNIE WALSH SEC. SCH. GOVT. ROKEL SEC SCH.: GOVT. ROKEL SEC SCH. St. EDWARDS: St. EDWARDS GOVT ROKEL SEC. SCH.: GOVT ROKEL SEC. SCH. ALBERT ACADEMY: ALBERT ACADEMY F.S.S.G.: F.S.S.G. A.A : A.A Slide40: This created more opportunity for pupils to see performances of the various school drama groups. DEBRIEFING: DEBRIEFING THE WINNING PLAY: THE WINNING PLAY Slide43: The grand final was part of the World Theatre Day celebrations of 2003. It was held in the Victoria Park at the centre of town and it attracted over a thousand people from all walks of life. Slide44: The entire project was highly successful but can be referred to as a one off performances and therefore would not contribute significantly to behaviour change. The only consolation is the next project that is the TV spots developed from the best scenarios in the school drama competition. Slide45: PROJECT II TRANSLATION OF BEST SCENARIOS INTO TV SPOTS The TV spots were on promotion of virginity acceptance of HIV/AIDS status condomisation stigmatisation Slide46: This project was really a success as they shown on television daily for over four months. The spots became so topical that you could hear youngsters saying “ Na mi layf” or “you no redi yet” meaning The condom holds the key to life. Without a condom you are not ready for sex. Slide47: PROJECT III: PERFORMANCES IN HONOUR OF UNICEF GOODWILL AMBASSADORS Performance of three winning plays on HIV Aids was held in honour of UNICEF goodwill ambassadors George Opong Weah and Ruud Gullet. Slide48: Day 1 -The performance was at the Victoria part (central Freetown (town centre). -Local milo jazz danced around the environs of the part of the publicity with a musician publicising the event with a megaphone. -Over a thousand people watched the performances -At the end of the performances the goodwill ambassadors emphasised about the need for abstinence, being faithful and con demising. UN GOODWILL AMBASSADORS: UN GOODWILL AMBASSADORS OPONG WEAH DISTRIBUTING LEAFLETS: OPONG WEAH DISTRIBUTING LEAFLETS Slide51: Day II A workshop for young artist on HIV/AIDS sensitization Using community theatre was held. A five minutes skit was also done during the half time break between Opong eleven and Gullit eleven by a combination of artist. Slide52: Other Projects: From time to time artist are contracted to produce jingles feature in films on HIV& AIDS, variety concert and as resource person at workshops on HIV& AIDS. Slide53: Conclusion The theatre has - contributed significantly in the dissemination of information on HIV& AIDS. - Produced artist were equipped to serve as resource persons in HIV& AIDS messages.
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