Supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Mozambique,CMFD worked with the residents of Chamanculo, a peri-urban community of Maputo, to create music and illustrated comic stories to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, and inspire youth to know their HIV status. The music was also perfromed at a community concert, distributed to radio stations, and became part of local band Sigauque Project’s regular repertoire of songs.The project used the youth friendly mediums of music and comics to encourage dialogue, new perspectives and behaviours.
The project activities included:
Writing and production of two songs related to HIV/AIDS
Using a participatory process we worked with local music group Sigauque Project to create two songs about HIV.
The two new songs are a lively passada, and rap mix with guest rapper “Mr. Brains.” The creation of Canadian-born Daniel Walter, most of the tunes played by Sigauque Project were originally created and recorded by CMFD Productions as part of radio and music for social change projects.
A community concert was held, which also served and launched the youth comic campaign. The youth-event took place in a central part of the community in the afternoon, open to everyone. An MC/ animator hosted the concert and provide continuity, as well as talked to the audience in a fun and entertaining way about HIV. Between sets, HIV related contests was held with T-shirts as prizes.
The 12 wall comics have been produced in collaboration with local young people. They have being posted in 100 places, one per week over a three month period, in high traffic areas, for example in clinics, schools, on shop walls, near the market, drinking spots, etc. Designed or youth, the light-hearted and comical stories cover a range issues, such using condoms, peer pressure, having multiple partners, and transactional sex.Unlike comic books, which a person is more likely to read alone, wall comics posted in public places tend to be read by groups of people together, thus encouraging community dialogue as people react to and discuss the stories they read. Key issues and storylines will be determined as part of the process, but may include addressing the following in the context of HIV prevention.
-No means no – sexual violence
- Alcohol abuse
- Coping with peer pressure
- Prevention – using condoms
- Prevention – girls responses to persuasion
- Dangers of transactional sex
- Getting tested
- Multiple concurrent partnerships as a risk
While information may be increasing about the basics of HIV prevention. The project will not only create awareness and provide information about HIV, but also challenge attitudes, stereotypes and the generally accepted social norms that contribute to negative attitudes and behaviors. However, it will do so by encouraging the community to analyse itsown challenge and risk behaviors, and prosing possible solutions.
By putting young people at the forefront of this intervention, it is expected that the project will result in:
- increased awareness and information about HIV prevention and services available;
- increased dialogue among youth, as well as the community at large, about HIV as well as harmful norms, habits, and attitudes;
- new perspectives and understanding among youth and the community about how such factors, as well as GBV and alcohol, encourage risky behaviours;
- greater awareness among young women about the risks specific to them, and their own ability to prevent HIV; and
- a sense of pride among youth and the community about media generated by this community, for this community.