Make Art / Stop AIDS: Youth

A project by Art & Global Health Center Africa (ArtGlo)

Our approach relies on creativity through the use of the participatory arts. Participants take information and use that to inform their dramas and poetry.
Make Art/Stop AIDS: Youth aimed to empower young leaders to use participatory arts to share messages about sexual and reproductive health and rights with their peers. Beginning in 2017, we trained Malawian college students on a variety of participatory arts, such as theatre and poetry, and on sexual and reproductive health and rights topics. The students then wrote, directed, and performed participatory dramas about the sexual and reproductive health and rights issues that they felt were most important and pressing on their college campuses. After the performances, all stakeholders were invited to take part in facilitated sessions to draft a community action plan that would address the issues brought up in the performances.

After going through the process themselves, these performance squads then went to secondary schools in the surrounding area. There, the college students became the trainers, introducing the secondary school students to participatory arts methods and sexual and reproductive health and rights topics. The college students coached the secondary school students through developing and rehearsing their own performances on the issues the secondary school students felt were most important in their communities. Throughout this process, teachers at the schools were engaged as a part of the facilitation process as well, so that they would also be able to use participatory arts methods in their teaching. The students then held festivals at their school to showcase all of the different performances they created. After the festivals, students, teachers, administrators, and community members took part in creating school action plans to address the issues that the students focused on in their performances.

The vast majority of the feedback from the students indicated that they particularly enjoyed using arts-based methods for communicating about such sensitive topics, that they felt more open and free. Our surveys also showed an increase in knowledge among students.

About the Organization /Team

ArtGlo envisions a world where communities are healthy, open, and active, and people are free to be who they are. To achieve this world, ArtGlo harnesses the power of the arts to nurture creative leadership, and to ignite bold conversations and actions. One of our main programmes is Make Art / Stop AIDS (MASA), which engages with college students to use participatory arts to share messages and information about sensitive topics, particularly HIV and sexual and reproductive health. The MASA team is lead by Sharon Kalima, a trained participatory theatre professional.
Project CategoryCreative
Realated SDGs
3 Good Health & Well-Being 5 Gender Equality