Nearly 27% of Swaziland's population has HIV, but until recently, secondary school students never learned that in school. They did not know that 15% of them will contract HIV by their 19th birthday. They didn't know how to prevent it, talk about it, or live positively with it.
To address this, the Bantwana Initiative of World Education, Inc. partnered with the Kingdom of Swaziland's Ministry of Education and Training to develop an HIV-focused Life Skills Education Program as a part of a broader guidance and counseling curriculum.
The program educates secondary school students on healthy living, HIV prevention, critical thinking, and decision-making. Today, more than 80,000 youth are being reached with HIV Life Skills Education each year.
At a time when stigma still exists and youth, in particular, are at-risk for HIV, the Bantwana Initiative decided to amplify the students' voices and let them tell the public what they learn in school today.
This video is a trailer for the full film (https://youtu.be/M5vVPtB_gYU) and was created for the schools, teachers, parents, and students in the program; youth around the world; our partners; and you!
Special thanks to the Swaziland Ministry of Education and Training; OSISA; UNICEF; UNESCO; Global Fund; CANGO; the Guidance and Counseling Panel, Toa Stappard, and all the schools, teachers, parents, and students in the program.
Filmmaker Toa Stappard involved hundreds of youth in the making of this video, and it is narrated by over 30 students from Swaziland secondary schools. Many of these youth were also included in the full film, but this short version is comprised of youth voices only!
For us, one of the biggest measures of success is if our beneficiaries, partners, and field teams like the video and feel like they have learned something from it. We've received positive feedback, including appreciation for the authenticity and accessibility of the video. While many organizations, including ourselves, tend to produce and rely on "technical speak," this video was intentionally created to engage with a variety of audiences.
Access to reliable internet connections still remains an issue in many of our program areas, so our YouTube reach is not as successful as it could be. However, we have been sharing with our teams so that they can download and share the video in other ways!
We await further results and feedback from our viewers in Swaziland, and we hope to continue to engage our beneficiaries from Swaziland and our 5 other countries in future programming videos.
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