Thefight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in African countries has beendemanding. This has in turn led to the fight of the infection fromall aspects of the society i.e. from amongst the citizens as well aswithin the defense forces. The fight has been encouraged within thedefense forces to prevent and reduce the spread of the killer virus.One of the countries that have been on the forefront to implement thefight against the menace among its forces is Zambia. This paperanswers a set of questions in reference to the article “Theatrefor development: a multiform approach to behavior change andempowerment in the fight against spread of HIV/AIDS in defenseforces”which was written by Prof. Dickson M. Mwansa.
Theater for Development in Zambia was introduced in three units (Mwansa, 2014).
The three units into which the Theater for Development in Zambia was implemented include the three units of the defense forces. These are the Air force, National service and the Army
The main focus of this initiative is for behavior change among the personnel in the forces
Half of the participants were involved in some cultural work as performers and singers
The drama coded four themes, namely: (Mwansa, 2014).
Risky sex behavior among the forces men and women at operation areas
The predicament of the widows in bases and the force’s camps
Drunkenness, due to lack of noteworthy occupation among the personnel’s in the bases and camps
Long absences from the homes due to prolonged military operations
Performances were carried out in three stages list them, as stages Number: (Mwansa, 2014).
The 1st performance was meant for the senior officers within the three target forces unit. They supposed to give feedback and accuracy of the songs and drama
The 2nd was for some selected combined ranks from selected camps and bases. They were to validate the content of the songs and drama.
The 3rd series of the performances entailed countrywide tours of military camps and bases.
The main target group of the project was the defense employees of all ranks as well as their families (Mwansa, 2014).
The central focus of Paulo Freireâ™s ‘Theory of Conscientization’ is empowerment of the marginalized groups of people in the society (Mwansa, 2014).
The three forms in which HIV/AIDS dis-empowers infected people include (Mwansa, 2014).
Discrimination in relationship and jobs
Inability to take control of one’s own life
And lastly through the inducement of a sense of hopelessness to the affected people
The power for the disempowered commences through reported suicide cases due to fear of being exposed within all the involved ranks, as well as increased number of widows due to HIV/AIDS deaths, who result in sex workers within the bases and camps to feed for themselves (Mwansa, 2014).
The three artistic skills that animateurs learnt to link as they performed to educate the people in Zambia include the art forms (songs, dance, and drama), touring the performance to selected camps, and finally embarking on tours of the entire nation (Mwansa, 2014).
The lyrics and the drama addressed the issues affecting the people through giving positive impacts in people’s lifestyle of the forces men and women as well as their families and friends (Mwansa, 2014).
The group dynamics skills helped in conducting discussion groups, and the animateurs perceived themselves as facilitators of group events and not as performers (Mwansa, 2014).
It helps one to be able to relate what he hears and observes in the play to one’s life (Mwansa, 2014).
The six main obstacles that affected the participants include (Mwansa, 2014).
Fatigue among the participants due to long journeys made by the performers
Unbalanced monitoring and evaluation due to lack of adequate resources
Inability to solve the economic challenges that affected the widows in the camps, hence the fight against HIV/AIDS has ineffective
Need for extra financial support has hindered the performance of the initiative. The move has to depend heavily on external donations
The high cost of running the program prevented it to have the much needed to have the much needed hype among the forces
Finally, the TFD initiative was perceived as an extra duty to the forces men and women and hence prevented more from attending the programs
The major shift that was deployed is the use of video and recorded music to reach wider area and audience. In addition, it was also agreed to train additional 70 animatuers to help cover a large area in the country. The final shift included creation of smaller theatre groups, which would be based in each of the military camps (Mwansa, 2014).
Mwansa,M. Dickson. ‘Theatre for Development: A Multiform Approach toBehavior Change
andEmpowerment in the Fight against Spread Of HIV/AIDS In DefenseForces’. Retrieved fromhttp://www.unesco.org/education/uie/pdf/Mwansa.pdf