Group uses drama for awareness

National, Normal
Source:

The National, Tuesday, May 24, 2011

By ALISON ANIS
INTERACTIVE drama highlighting domestic issues associated with spread of HIV is an effective way of spreading the message among the illiterate rural population, Wep Kanawi said.
Kanawi, the National AIDS Council director, said many people were still ignorant after almost 10 years of advocating on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment through pamphlets, posters, workshops and public interactions.
“I think this is the way we should be heading in the future,” he said after witnessing a trial interactive drama approach by the Image and Forum Theatre launched last Friday by the Anglicare StopAIDS group in Port Moresby.
“From our own experiences interactive drama by theatre groups has rated highly as an effective tool for communicating HIV preventative messages in rural areas,” he said.
“Other methods such as pamphlets, posters with international sport celebrities and face-to-face interactions have rated very low.”
He commended Anglicare for its efforts in spreading HIV/AIDS awareness and in providing treatment and care facilities for people living with the virus.
Kanawi said the council recently sent a group of multi-cultural experts to rural areas to ask people their views on HIV/ AIDS.
“The experts found out that many people wanted to be empowered with the right information on HIV to help them and guide them,” he said.
“They expressed it was hard to change the beha­viour of young people in the village.”
Kanawi challenged the Anglicare drama group to go the extra mile in educating the people through interactive drama and to take into account the real issues faced by families.