PANCAP News-in the caribbean

Street theatre : a tool for fighting sexual risks

The Entr'aide Gwadloup association, which advocates in the field of sexual risk prevention, recently benefited from training in  “education through entertainment”  provided by the Haitian association, Foundation for Reproductive Health and Family Education (FOSREF) with the assistance of the INTERREG Caribbean HIV project.*  

Eight members of Entr'aide Gwadloup went to Haiti to take part in this intense training consisting of various modules including body expression, voice projection, script writing, improvisation techniques, musical composition and formulation of messages focused on sexual behaviour  leading to the decision to do the HIV test.  

"The objective was to train this group of Haitians residing in Guadeloupe so that they can conduct community outreach for Haitians and the people of Guadeloupe and St. Martin on HIV and AIDS and other social issues," says Eddy Frantz Raymond, Programme Coordinator- Education through Entertainment programme of FOSREF. The principle of education through entertainment is to pass on HIV prevention messages to the public through theatre.

After four days of formal training, the group of volunteer actors joined FOSREF professionals on stage in a theatrical performance played before an audience of school children in Léogane, a town located south of the capital which was heavily affected by the 2010 earthquake. After a well appreciated performance, there was an exchange between the actors and the audience to reinforce the prevention messages and ensure they were well understood.

The Executive Director of FOSREF, Dr. Fritz Moïse, welcomed the visit of Entr'aide Gwadloup’s members saying, "Don’t underestimate the impact of this group’s visit to Haiti. While we certainly can share our expertise, we also learn what is being done in neighbouring countries through such a cooperation project.”

FOSREF as a key partner and right arm of the Ministry of Public Health and Population, and the Institute for Social Wellbeing, has a national mandate for HIV and AIDS prevention and social rehabilitation programmes among sex workers, through training in areas such as computer science, cosmetology, sewing, cooking, floral arranging etc. Since 1988, Entr'aide Gwadloup has a daily vocation in sexual risk prevention, information, training, support and accompaniment of vulnerable persons affected by HIV and AIDS, social support and vocational integration. The association also manages an emergency shelter in Basse-Terre.

Building on this experience in Haiti, the Entr'aide Gwadloup association will host its next performance on 27 April 2012 in the town of Gosier in Guadeloupe.

 

* The INTERREG Caribbean HIV project for the establishment of an inter-Caribbean HIV observatory is co-financed by the European Union and the Prefecture of Guadeloupe through the regional cooperation fund known as the FEDER.