Archive for the ‘Updates’ Category

THIS POSITIVE LIFE! SO WHAT? LIVE LIFE

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

A True Life Story of Maurine living strong and healthy with HIV Virus, when she tested HIV positive Maurine of Nakuru Kenya scarcely had an idea what HIV meant. Now at 26, she is one of the foremost HIV activists in our town Nakuru and its environs.

Moureen during the interview

Moureen during the interview

She tested HIV positive in 2004 and she was only19 years old and now she is 26 years old having lived with the virus for 7 years. The reason she went for an HIV test was because she had been sick and bed ridden for about 2 years being treated for chest pains and thus her doctor at that particular time thought it prudent for her to go have a TB test. Due to the financial constraint that her family was going through having exezosted all the money her parents had saved in treating her for the 2 years that she had been bed ridden going for the test was not about to happen anytime soon. Luckily a friend of hers came in handy and as they say “a friend in need is a friend in deed” because he offered to bail her out by paying for her test at the provincial General hospitals laboratory. She was asked to go collect her results after 2 weeks and to her shocker the medics refused to hand over the results to her insisting that she should be accompanied by somebody and luckily on that particular day she was with her friend who was waiting for her at the waiting bay, so she went back and called him to accompany her and that’s only when the results were handed to her friend but only after her consent. it is Maurine’s friend who first told her about her being HIV positive and I bet this information came into his hands when he remained behind to talk to the Lab practioner and to her surprise her friend told her that he knew what she was going through because he also had been infected with HIV Virus and had lived with it for over 3years.

Moureen in action in a role play about HIV positive pregnant mothers and the stigma they face in the community

Moureen in action in a role play about HIV positive pregnant mothers and the stigma they face in the community

To her, at that time, not knowing her status was way much better of than knowing because according to her if she didn’t know, she dint have to deal with the pressures, due to luck of understanding and inappropriate information about the subject. You know, when things came up on TV about AIDS or HIV, when they talked about it in school, she kind of ran away from it. You know, cut the channel, cover her eyes, ’cause she was scared of the facts, she didn’t want to know the facts, she wanted to stay ignorant to the subject . . . because as long as she was ignorant to the subject, she thought, Okay, I’m fine

According to Maurine being diagnosed with AIDS was the moment she found her voice. It was a life-changing moment for her. Her voice came out and it came out powerfully. It was like the Spirit opened her eyes. She felt like all the things that happened to her — the journey that she walked, from the sexual abuse she experienced as a child to all that followed, including many risky activities — had to happen in order for her to get her voice, to jar her into action. This is what she talks about with women, and sexual active youths who are more vulnerable and all those already infected — that they need to find their voices and be able to say “NO TO STIGMATISATION” and say it powerfully.

Moureen in a yellow dress during Magnet Theatre Outreach

Moureen in a yellow dress during Magnet Theatre Outreach

By Joining REPACTED (Rapid Effective Participatory Action in Community Theatre Education and Development) in 2005 an organization based in Nakuru county that uses unique programs i.e. “MAGNET THEATRE” to engage the youth and community at large in activities that improve they knowledge, change they attitude and sharpen they skills in matters of positive sexual behavior change, Maurine found a reliable and appropriate forum/platform to launch her campaign and venture into public speaking ,with the help of Collins Oduor The project manager at REPACTED and other qualified competent peer educators and volunteers based at this organization. Maurine was able to over stand that she had a story that needed to be told, and with the strong network of peer educators and volunteers at REPACTED she was encouraged and reminded that positive youth need a voice. There is a lack of storytelling among the youth, and this is especially true with positive youth. They feel shame or guilt for contracting the virus and feel that they need to lie about it and not be upfront.

Moureen giving out condoms after a magnet theatre otreach at the informal workplace

Moureen giving out condoms after a magnet theatre otreach at the informal workplace

It’s important that young people are given a chance to tell their stories without being judged. Speaking really helped Maurine articulate herself as a person. It gave her a new direction to go in — not only is it inspirational to other people, but it inspired her to clean up her life and make something positive of herself. Joining REPACTED has affected her in a positive way emotionally. Maurine is a very strong person now because of it, more educated and more life-experienced than a lot of 26-year-olds because of it. On the other side, she has started feeling more supported and appreciated as she is able to branch out into different kinds of communities. Maurine thinks she is kind of a rare breed she is here with REPACTED to inspire people. “I’m here, I’m a woman, I’m HIV positive, and I’m living my life positively and normally.” It can happen! It can happen.

“HIV OUTREACH BEHIND THE BARS”

Thursday, April 14th, 2011
Georgia, Sarah, Louise and Sherry at the outreach

Georgia, Sarah, Louise and Sherry at the outreach

Hosting the MTV Staying alive team of Georgia, Sara, and Louise accepting to accompany us to one of our MTV Staying alive  outreach programs held at the Male and female Nakuru Prison holding penitentiary was a great honor and as I would put it she had the opportunity of seeing what REPACTED as an organization is doing in order to inform and impact information on the masses and the public at large on the critical issues and matters relating to HIV Aids and other related matters pertaining to health.

Louise enjpying herself by joining the inmates for a dance

Louise enjoying herself by joining the inmates for a dance

As some of us may not know our brothers and sisters holed up in the prisons blocks face a lot of stigmatization due to the factor that people in the outside world view them so negatively and have hasty generalization towards them and thus a lot of things that do happen in the outside world passes them without due regard to there contribution and opinion.

the team

the team

With this kind of visits to the Prisons, REPACTED which boosts of young, energetic, professional peer educators have a chance of passing relevant and useful information to the prisoners through what we refer to us “Magnet Theater”. Due to magnet theater natural pulling power, the regular performances are designed to get the prisoners talking about how there stay in prison may be fueling the epidemic and what according to them should be done in order to try and curb the spread and stigmatization of this deadly scourge called HIV Aids. And with this approach we urge people to replicate this venture and scale up this initiative for the benefit of our society at large and remember that “IF YOU ARE NOT INFECTED THEN YOU ARE AFFECTED”.

action time

action time

The Mr and Miss Red Ribbon 2010

Monday, November 29th, 2010

MR. and MISS RED RIBBON, an annual beauty pageant   with a difference as it brings together people leaving with HIV and aids together to celebrate beauty and fight stigma.

Mr and Miss Red Ribbon

Mr and Miss Red Ribbon

Up to its D-Day it had taken two whole months of preparation as models were aided by designer Jackie Ogutu and model trainer Diana Abwajo; a phenomenon rare in the past events where they only had a model trainer but no stylists.

The event attracted a total of 20 model participants 12 of them being positive from various C.B.O that offer support to PLWH. It also attracted 4 guest performances from outside making the total number of participants to 24.

Uhuru  in one of the best design ARV

Uhuru in one of the best design ARV

With the theme; universal access and human rights served as a good build up activity to world aids day as with its mass of 400 people it made known the importance of getting tested, importance of abstinence ad uptake of reproductive health massages among many other massages passed by the costumes uniquely and creatively designed, beauty at its best to fight stigma in the greater Nakuru society.

Condoms on the run way

Condoms on the run way

On the run-way were models of different sizes not forgetting age ranging up to 52 years of age all in an aim to fight the ‘beast’ stigma with beauty as the strongest; personality, commitment and dedication to fight stigma not forgetting beauty carried the day as Daniel Mwangi and Fridah Abio were the overall winners of the event.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/video/video.php?v=202966303048512&comments

View photos @ http://repacted.wordpress.com/

Service at the door step

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Perhaps the most ideal idea in community development is to reach out to the target population in their “catchment” area. One of the REPACTD’s greatest outreach programs is to reach out to the target population in the informal sector by visited them with community participatory discourses aimed at creating at ensuring that resource like condoms and sexual reproductive health information is available at the informal workplace.

Informal workpalce outreach program

Condom Demonstration

The magnet theater team engages the target population during the lunch break since that is the only available time to ensure that the people in the informal sector are served with the relevant services at their comfort zone. So as they struggle with a plate of a mixture of maize and beans and a cup of tea, that is the time to drive the message home. The theatre team is using every little available time to ensure that the target population gets the desired information at the workplace.

Magnet Theatre

M.T outreach in the community

International AIDS candlelight Memorial (IACM)

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

THEME: MANY LIGHTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

International AIDS candlelight Memorial (IACM).

International AIDS candlelight Memorial (IACM).

Today we, together with many volunteers who host memorials worldwide for their communities commemorate the International AIDS candlelight Memorial (IACM). The IACM occurs on the 3rd Sunday of May. The memorial was started by people living with AIDS concurrently in San-Francisco and New York 1993 and it meant to honor all those who have been affected by the AIDS pandemic. As HIV/AIDS continue to impact communities around the world, the candlelight has become a way for communities to take action by publicly mourning their loved ones lost to AIDS and by strengthening local, national and international commitments to lighting the candle.

International AIDS candlelight Memorial (IACM).

International AIDS candlelight Memorial (IACM).

As MR. RED RIBBON KENYA, that is a symbol of solidarity of people living with AIDS, and as the coordinator of Badili Mawazo Self Help Group, I take this moment to share my sorrow, remember and honor my brothers, sisters and children who battled and lost the light against AIDS.
In Nakuru Kenya, this day was presided over by the Bishop of Nakuru Catholic Diocese, Bishop Maurice Muhatia of Holy-Cross Catholic Parish where volunteers and members of the neighboring community walked in with over 40 pieces of art with awareness messages, prevention management of HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination.

THE CANDLELIGHT ADVOCACY PLATFORM

The candlelight memorial is committed to ending HIV/AIDS by raising awareness and advocating for the advancement of effective policies at all level
The program has identified the following key issues areas, as its platforms around which it cultivates community advocacy through its events and activities.

REDUCING STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION

International AIDS candlelight Memorial (IACM).

International AIDS candlelight Memorial (IACM).

Communities around the world affected by HIV/AIDS pandemic, particularly people living with the disease and other marginalized groups often face debilitating social stigma and discrimination simply because of their association with the virus, I, MR. RED RIBBON KENYA, and the candlelight memorial urge leaders to light discrimination through protecting the Rights of affected groups and individuals and fostering an inclusive human environment of both support and opportunity.

ENSURE ACCESS OF TREATMENT, PREVENTION AND CARE
Poor or marginalized communities have little access to basic HIV/AIDS services, I, MR. RED RIBBON KENYA, and the candlelight memorial urges leaders to ensure communities have equal access to treatment (such as testing and anti-retroviral therapy), evidence based prevention (such as education) and care and support (such as counseling and hospice). This requires meeting the needs of the orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), strengthening public health systems and vaccines development.

INCREASING RESOURCES FOR HIV/AIDS, MALARIA, TUBERCULOSIS AND OTHER RELATED ISSUES

DSC02642

The need for communities affected by HIV/AIDS, by far, outpace the current resources allocated to meet them, I, MR. RED RIBBON KENYA, and the candlelight memorial urges leaders to fulfill their commitment to adequately address the scope and depth of AIDS including other burdens accompanying or enhancing its spread (such as T.B, Malaria, sexually transmitted diseases and opportunistic infections) and other contributing social and economic challenges.

PROMOTING GIPA
Affected communities by HIV/AIDS are often neglected in the decision making processes that aim to assist them in the first place, I, MR. RED RIBBON KENYA, and the candlelight memorial urges leaders to incorporate the voices of the affected communities in formulation of policies as well as in the design and implementation of programs, their experiences and opinions are essential to the Global dialogue about the disease and this includes promoting the empowerment of women and youth. And as per the theme: MANY LIGHTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, dear world, I have faith that together we are the solution.

THANKS IN ADVANCE for your cooperation.

International AIDS candlelight Memorial (IACM).

Mr. Red Ribbon

MR. RED RIBBON KENYA, PETER ONYANGO OKOLA.

Developing Story

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Following the colorful and competitive Mr. and Miss Red Ribbon 2009 held on 29 Nov at Hotel Bontana pool side, followed by crowing and awarding of the Mr. and Miss Red Ribbon 2009 on 1 Dec 2009 (World Aids Day) at the Kenyatta Conference Centre by the Minister of Special Programs Dr. Naomi Shaban, the models are back in action. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdKsN3EbYvQ,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PKL2DuoErE, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr5PmA9ryEs
Through integrated approaches REPACTED is coordinating an ambitious program that is expected to actualize expectations of the models. To start, the models will be introduced to the basics of communication before being introduced to blogging.

Alongside community outreaches by the models REPACTED will conduct a monthly meeting with the 35 models. Introducing the 35 models to blogging is a process that requires some consent due to the health status of the models. We are thinking of starting with activities aimed at setting a rapport with the models before organizing for a training on blogging.

The main goal of the initiative is to introduce more positive bloggers in the blog-sphere so that some issues related to health and HIV affecting the models can be shared without involving the third party who have always taken advantage of the situation. REPACTED will post the initial progress of the ideas before decentralizing the information to individual bloggs.

If you have any ideas on how we can improve the idea please don’t keep it, share it with us.

The Furious Blizzard

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Endemic corruption, increasing social inequality, and lackadaisical governance are the principal causes of pitiable implementation of both international and national environmental policies. Wealthy nations fool around with the climate change deal. There is either no or little improvement on the new targets for the developed nations that are party to the Kyoto Protocol to cut their emissions. The just ended UN climate change negotiation meeting in Bangkok fundamentally failed to deliver any substantive development on targets, posing serious questions about the political dedication of the industrialized nations on climate change. Since the United States is the major carbon emission producer in the world, President Barrack Obama could have done the world a great honor by rejecting the untimely Nobel peace prize by singing the Kyoto Protocol.

Ewaso Ngiro River in Narok

Poor nations are the most affected by effects of climate change, something that as prompted African nation to gang up for the Copenhagen meeting. More than fifty Members of Parliament from African countries are meeting for three days at the UNEP Headquarters’ in Gigiri Nairobi with an aim of coming up with a common stand in readiness for Copenhagen after shameful failure in Bangkok. Anyway the Copenhagen meeting could just be one of the many talks shows aimed at audacious nuclear power show of while millions of lives are destroyed daily as a result of environmental pollution form the carbon emission.

Game

Poor environmental management strategies have been cited as the main causes of deforestation. Most developing nations are not governance compliant, good governance is development centered values quality life of its citizens, and respects integrity for prosperity. The legislature, the executive, and the judiciary serving under the banner of ethnicity have done this country (Kenya) a grand environmental defilement. Nearly two years after efforts were renewed to save the water towers of Mau Forest complex, politics has taken the centre stage and little action seems to be taking place. The gluttonous human settlement in the Mau Forest fueled by the politicians from the Kalenjin Community in Rift Valley in the name of saving our people is causing the rivers leaving Mau forests which replenish many lakes including those essential to the tourism industries to dry up.

The gratuitous phenomenon of destruction of the water towers in Kenya is already unleashing ramifications that are beyond redemption. The world greatest spectacle and tourist attraction, the migration of the wildebeest across the Mara River in the Masaai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya is slowly loosing its spectacular magnetism; it is a slap of the unforgiving Mother Nature. Scenes like these will die out if water towers that feed such rivers are not conserved. Some major Rift Valley lakes (Nakuru and Elimentataita) which are also homes to flamingos are at the brink of extinction; among other consequences of climate change in Kenya has been the declining rainfall which in turn has lead to lower resources for hydropower and scarcity of water for agriculture and domestic consumption. As result of persistent drought livestock farmer’s from the pastoralist communities are burying carcasses of dead livestock.

Mau Complex

The third world nations should take advantage of the situation by putting there best brains at work. Currently in eastern Africa the drought is causing havoc, no water for the livestock, the water level in the main hydropower dams is down, domestic water supply dams are drying up, soon the El-Niño rains will start and many will be caught unaware. Lives will be lost property worth billions destroyed. Along side the national disaster policy the poor nations should develop national water harvesting strategic policy. The policy should effectively address approaches of reducing effects of drought by storing water during rainy season for use during dry spells. The water banks can play critical role during dry season by offering livelihood to the poor and the marginalized livestock farmers who occupy vast communal grazing fields.

The water banks will successful replace traditional agricultural ideology of depending on the rainfall as the only source of water yet global rainfall patterns are changing. Alternative farming systems and technologies like organic farming should be encouraged among communities. Recently in Kenya the government was buying emaciated livestock from the pastoralist community at a fare price, what a bright idea, but the government should think of more sustainable ideas like livestock insurance policy for the arid and semi arid parts of the republic. The government could also set up state-run slaughter houses at the regional level instead of a meat processing factory in its capital city Nairobi; this will create employment at the community level.

Climate Change

Global warming and man’s social economic activities have led to the degradation of earth’s single most and very significant natural resource, the forests. With increased violation of principles of conserving these regions globally, poverty and unemployment, reduced water levels in reservoirs and non sustainable agricultural practices have rendered many within third world countries to suffer food shortages. With well planed strategies the third world countries will effectively address the issue of food security. With modern technology the sun may not be a problem as such, the question is how do we tame and convert solar energy to domestic and industrial use. Wind energy is also one of the most assumed sources of energy in Africa yet it is a common phenomenon in semi and arid areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

Webuye Fall in Western Kenya

It is time for African states to utilize their technological think tanks to eradicate corruption, dictatorship tyranny and buffoon style selfish and self styled ideologies and principles of leadership. It is also important for developed economies to stop maximizing on the abject poverty in the third world by embracing realistic holistic, inclusive and comprehensive development agendas that are aimed at reducing human suffering. By reducing emission and by supporting developing nations environmental conservation initiatives and by listening to the human suffering and taking preventive action the world will reduce environmental disasters hence reduction of rescue missions.

WORLD AIDS DAY- MR. AND MISS RED RIBBON 2008

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

miss red ribbon

The event started off with a word of prayer from of the participants, then followed by a brief introduction history  of the event  by Collins Dennis Oduor of REPACTED  before the introduction of the event MCs James Karongo and Moses Mwangi. The entrance of the day’s MCs James Karongo and Moses Mwangi and a brief speech about the history of Miss Red Ribbon, it’s challenges, aims and objectives. Voice of roses, one of the hosts kicked off the occasion with a tantalizing dance. This was followed by a choral verse prepared and presented by B.I.G aka Big Africa arts group. As the judges were preparing themselves for the task ahead, Pamoja Band played some requests and Sauti  Afrique serenaded all the mothers in the house with a harmonious song appreciating women’s contribution to life. The judges for the day were Joab Omondi Otieno from Rift valley Institute of Hair Dressing, Rose Ndanu Morris Programme Co-ordinator I-Cross, Steve Waweru, Head of Marketing Tracom college, Jane Wamaitha Kigotho Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and technology JKUAT.

After a brief interlude the final song from Sauti Afrique and voice of roses the long wait ended and the models were finally called up on stage and formally introduced to the audience.

Lawrence Mwai, Abdalla Abdullahi, Daniel Mwangi, Uhuru Cleopas, Peter Ayiera, Nassir Omar, Peter Onyango, Jane Adero, Sylvia Wanjiru, Nancy Njoroge, Elizabeth Maina, Naomi Maina, Asha Kipng’etich, Alice Njoki, Jane Wahu Chege, Mary Njoki, Maureen Akinyi, Diana Abwayo and scholastica Juma were to fight for top honors of the miss red ribbon 2008. Uprising comedians staged an act before the first category Casual wear was launched. The crowd was quickly on their feet as they cheered their favorites enthusiastically as the models walked through the run way show casing their collection and designs.

 

 

 

 MC JEX entertained the guests with a rap song on the importance of healthy living and Makry Group presented their award winning Choral verse on drug abuse as the contestants prepared for the next category, of official were a few surprises in this category as the models emerged looking crisp and clean in suits. It was clear that at the moment stigma was completely missing in the hall has both the positive and negative models shared the stage in the colorful category.

 During the intermission Voice of roses took the stage followed by SAWWA dancers from REPACTED who showed a little of what they are made of. Friends of Lake Nakuru made a cameo to spice things up. The Models then rolled out in Traditional wear as the pageant progressed without incident or accident. The traditional wear well brewed and finished to the African cultural test was a show of courage in fight against stigma.

 Genesis Arts Creations did their trademark Salsa dance before the crowd was left shell shocked when Recording artiste, Mejja, of Calif Records popped in through the main door. He dropped his hit single Kwani jana kuliendaje among others. The single on the danger of alcohol has a predisposing factor was thematic. SAWWA dancers returned one last time closing the world of entertainment for the day before the Pageant continued.

 In the Creative category the crowd saw how far the minds could go when imagination runs wild. Peter Ayiera dressed in big leaf, what thrilled people ware cloths made out condoms it was a design worth watching.  Everything was slowed to a crawl when the evening wear category as the contestants took their time on the runway. Beauty is what you see and feel, the audience felt beauty in the air, evening wear both classic, creative and modern.   

When the judges made the cut Abdalla Abdullahi, Scholastica Juma, Peter Ayiera, Naomi Maina, Jane Wahu, Peter Onyango and Alice Njoki were declared to be in the final seven.  They then proceeded to question time where the final seven were required to dig deep into their knowledge of HIV/AIDS issues.

There were speeches from Ian Wanyoike of National Organization of Peer Educators, Hannington Onyango of National Aids Control Council and Dr. Haile Girmay  of UNAIDS. Dr. Haile talked about the history of aids in the last twenty years, he also said that we should test before Monday during the world aids day, he also reminded the audience present that it will be the twentieth world aids day celebrations. He started with a dance which he used to pass his message across. He also insisted that we should all know our status. Sarah Kamau of Christian Children’s Fund gave the vote of thanks. Peter Ayiera was declared second runner overal and Alice Njoki was crowned the miss red ribbon 2008 Peter Ayiera was crowned Mr. Red Ribbon 2008.

The role of the two winners will be to organize outreaches in the community with the main goal of eradicating stigma in the community.  

the peace caravan by James Karongo

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Our stay at the Naivasha Stadium IDP camp came to an end and after breakfast, we went into un-pitching our tents and clearing our stuff from our two nights home. We were sad to bid goodbye to our hosts at the camp and the Red Cross staff who had been most helpful in ensuring that our first experience as IDP’s had been most smooth. We left Naivasha Stadium at 8am and started our journey to Nakuru.

At shell filling station in Nakuru, we were again sad to bid farewell to our visiting team who were proceeding to Molo for further visits. We proceeded to Nakuru Players theatre where we were to pitch tents for the next 48 hours. There we found our hosts – REPACTED ready for us and James Karongo, a member of REPACTED who was also with us on the caravan went ahead to show us our camping site and together with his colleagues from REPACTED made us feel at home.

After our sleeping quarters had been secured, we left for the Afraha Stadium IDP grounds to do abit of ground breaking but it did not start very well as someone had warned them to be harsh with strangers incase they were government agents sent to convince people to go back to their homes. Any way by the end of the day, we had been able to get through to some of them and went ahead to have useful discussions and also tried to understand their plight as Nakuru IDP’s. We went back to our camp for supper and then had an early night out in preparation for the following day’s activities.

On this day we were to have three activities so we begun very early with our breakfast then started off.

Our first activity was to be at one of the most affected areas in the town – Free area/Kaptembwa. We got there and immediately went into mobilization which was followed by a drama performance by one of the local theatre groups REPACTED who had hosted us in Nakuru. Our acrobatics team then took over marveling the crowd which also worked well for us as a crowd puller. We were then able to split the crowd into smaller groups to which we introduced the idea if dialogue and they took up from there and engaged in a most educative and fruitful dialogue session between members from different communities. They also had the chance to chat for themselves a way forward which they believed was workable for them. We then left for our second destination.

 

Our next stop was another affected area – Kaptembwa. Again we engaged in a fruitful mobilization making use of the theatre group and caravan participants to notify the crowds of our presence and our mission in their neighborhood. Here we had a curtain raiser by TEARS and REPACTED, our partners on the ground. REPACTED performed a skit while TEARS had a dance. We also had a performance by an upcoming artist from Nakuru –McJex. After this, we had caravan participants engaging the crowd in peace building dialogues after which they gave their opinions on the way forward. We then left for our last destination.

 

Our last destination was Menengai High school. Our history with the school goes back to the days of the violence when they were able to come up with an educative skit on living well as neighbors from different tribal communities. Having also graced our launch in Nairobi, it was only befitting that we honor their invitation to visit them in their school where they hoped to share with us positive ideas of how we could further pass our peace message in the course of the caravan and true to their word, it became a learning experience for us. After having lunch with them, they got to business and took us through a number of thematic games that emphasized on team work where we were also encouraged to participate. After the games, they explained to us the ideas behind the games and what message they were meant to portray most of them being on team work and the importance of togetherness. We then engaged them in talks on peace building since some students in the school were actually living as IDP’s and how they could be of positive influence to their fellow students in times of conflicts. After a few other entertaining performances, we decided to end the day after a word from the teacher in charge and headed back to our camp at the theater.

We had our supper then joined our hosts, for a few minutes of peace building discussions and they were led by their leader gave us more tips and encouraging words on how to go about our journey. We then decided to call it a night and got back to our tents for a long deserved rest.

 

 

stigma during community theatre outreaches

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

It is emerging in our Magnet Theatre outreaches in the community that reduction of stigma and discrimination in the community is mirage. Stigma and discrimination needs a creative approach because it is affecting the fight against HIV from all angles. Giving out condoms in public is still a problem. During the outreaches young people take condoms in secrecy they don’t want to be seen by the community because the community will associate them with sexual intercourse.

Walking into a VCT centre for most young difficult because in one way or other they have had unprotected intercourse with a person of unknown STI status because of the stigma associated with free condoms given in public and buying a condom in the home shops. Most young people ask very many subspecies questions and concerns on VCT, HIV and AIDS. Why should I go for VCT while my partner is negative? There is no need for VCT while I know that am dying; in one way or another all of us will die so why waste my time going for VCT, why use a condom when we know that we are infected? 

And when we carry out mobile VCT all of them who attend the sessions come out smiling and saying that they are ok. If condoms and VCT services are facing such tough stereotype at the community level what about access to reproductive health services by the youth. A good number of young people can not point out stigma and discrimination as community problem, but they acknowledge that there are some behaviors and attitudes that discriminate against people infected and infected.

In one of the magnet theatre session in Manyani the audience helped to condemn a behavior by one of the cast members acting as an HIV positive person. But with timeline a game used to elastrator the theatre process they agreed that they action against character could lead to many things including self stigma because of the enacted stigma from the community members.