The Arusha Times

Issue 00535

September 13 - 19, 2008

issn 0856 - 9135 



Youth use talent to fight HIV/AIDS

By Our Correspondent

Last Saturday Arusha area youth gathered at the Arusha Meru Football Grounds to use their talents to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS. In the Second Annual Talent Competition, sponsored by Global Service Corps (GSC), sixteen schools and youth from Mkombozi Centre for Street Children competed with songs, dances, and dramas themed to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and communicate to those in attendance what they need to know to avoid infection. “Use one condom each time you have sex to escape HIV and pregnancy,” “Don’t have sex if you are still a student because it might damage your future,” “Don’t have sex for money or gifts because you could get HIV,” “Parents make sure you know what your kids are doing,” and “AIDS is dangerous,” were just some of the themes of the performances. Despite this year’s scorching temperatures, over 600 people including students, community members, and teachers attended the competition.

Students from Kimaseki Secondary School, dressed in costumes, and armed with props presented a drama metaphorically explaining how quickly HIV can spread in a community and subsequently took home first prize. Kaloleni Secondary School won second place, and Arusha Meru Secondary won third. All winning schools received funds for their school health clubs to be used to further spread the message about healthy living as well as T-shirts for the individual winners saying “Show your talent. Fight HIV.”

Global Service Corps is a non-profit, non-governmental organization which focuses on providing communities with training in HIV/AIDS prevention and sustainable agriculture. They currently work with 20 Arusha area secondary schools to provide peer education training and HIV/AIDS and health information through school health clubs. For the past two years, GCS has sponsored a talent competition for youth involved in their school’s health clubs. The competition gives students the opportunity to use their talents and creativity to raise awareness of the dangers of HIV.



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