Staying Alive Through Culture
In Collaboration with Music Television (MTV)’s Staying Alive Fund, Bakashana has been providing HIV/AIDs sensitization and training to Banachimbusas (female elders who teach young women about traditional cultural practices regarding sex, gender, and relationships) and HIV/AIDs Voluntary Care, Testing, and Planning (VCT) in rural communities around Kasama since 2016. The project, entitled ‘Staying Alive Through Culture and iChisuungu’ addresses the challenges of HIV/AIDS in Zambia using two distinct but complementary approaches.
The first, more contemporary approach, involves mobile Voluntary-Counselling-and-Testing (VCT) and condom demonstration and distribution in 12 villages surrounding Kasama. This program is implemented through ‘community outreach days’ – utilizing drumming, football, drama, and other activities to attract youth for HIV/AIDS testing, contraceptive distribution, and sensitization. In 2016, Bakashana – in partnership with Zambia Prevention, Care, and Treatment (ZPCT) and the Zambian Ministry of Health – offered HIV Counseling and Testing 1,225 individuals, distributed over 12,000 condoms and offered sensitization to nearly 7,000 youth through these community outreach days.
The second, more long-term approach offers a series of three workshops each year to 25 Banachimbusas (female elders who teach young women about traditional cultural practices regarding sex, gender, and relationships). The first workshop involves the sharing of cultural practices and the slow establishment of trust both among the Banachimbusas and with the facilitators from Bakashana and our collaborating partners. The second workshop offers HIV/AIDS training and sensitization. The third implements the development of an integrated Chibusa curriculum – a collaborative combination of traditional cultural practices with HIV/AIDS prevention. As a result of these workshops, 25 female traditional initiators are now competent in the transmission, prevention, and treatment of HIV/AIDS and are therefore able to relay more accurate information through their ritual teachings. These teaching are estimated to reach more than 1,000 youth in the next 5 years!
To learn more about the work Bakashana is doing with MTV, please visit the following links: