managed by O. Brekke (Communication)
The objective of this project is to train 160 Kenyan youth actors aged 18 to 25 in educational theater, to educate their peer about HIV/AIDS, and STDs. The second biggest driver of HIV in Kenya is casual heterosexual sex, the activity primarily of unmarried youth aged 15 to 24, which causes 20.2% of new infections. Hence, it is very important to provide young people with activities that engage their minds constructively and with education on HIV and other STDs.
Ole Brekke, director of The Commedia School, conducted a 5-day pilot training in educational theater for 28 members AMURT youth drama groups in Likoni, Coast Province. At the end of the 5 day workshop they had created two works ready for public performance. Given the success of this pilot training, Ole and the local Kenyan AMURT staff decided to provide similar opportunities to out-of-school youth throughout Kenya. An entire class of young professional performers who graduate in May have enthusiastically volunteered their time and skills to this project.
AMURT’s youth program started in September 2009 with the training of 135 peer educators who were tasked with bringing messages related to HIV/AIDS prevention. The peer educators are based at the nine youth resource centers that AMURT has established in Coast, Nyanza and Central provinces. In 2010, the youth reached 137,635 people with positive messages related to HIV prevention, and sexual health.
The trainers from The Commedia School will visit each location in pairs providing groups of up to twenty out-of-school youth with 5 days of intense training. Each pair from The Commedia School will conduct two 5 day workshops. The youth to be trained are both peer educators and members of the drama groups affiliated with AMURT’s youth program. 90% of the participants are school drop-outs who have found a sense of purpose in using educational theater to improve the quality of life around them.