MAKE A NEW START TODAY
Uganda was one of the first countries in the world to experience a generalized HIV/AIDS pandemic. Since 1982 the Government of Uganda has mounted a determined effort to reduce the spread of infection by using the ABC approach: Abstinence, Be Faithful and Condom Use. In the absence of a cure, education provides a ”social vaccine”.
The board game, ”Make a new start today”, and the accompanying handbook, were sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) together with the Programme for the Promotion of Employment Oriented Vocational and Technical Education and Training (PEVOT). Using the game, both the learners and teachers at vocational and technical training institutions benefit from appropriate, current and factual information that supports the fight against HIV/AIDS. ”Make a New Start Today” aims to furnish young and old alike with the knowledge they need to make informed choices about sexual activity. This should reduce the risks they face of becoming infected with HIV or other STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). It follows the ”ABC” strategy, and also makes it clear that one needs to make an effort to stay safe - always - and whenever in doubt, should seek advice from medical centres, counselling centres, or trusted adults.
Instead of just educating young people using information about HIV/AIDS, the board game, with its accompanying handbook, is an innovative and dynamic approach that involves and animates the young players directly. In short, it is a good example of ”edutainment”. The game offers additional information on preventing STIs such as HIV, syphilis or gonorrhoea, and about preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. There is also advice about risky behaviour such as alcohol or drug use. As well as its focus on prevention, the game also offers advice on living positively with HIV, including the use of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) and other medication, as well as dietary and lifestyle changes. The board game was developed and designed by Adrian Sandy and Bill Reynell (Caspar & Carew Edutainment International). It was recently updated and translated into local languages and will now be available in English, Luganda and Rukiga. A handbook has also been produced to accompany the game and to answer questions triggered by playing the game. It provides a lot of information in a straightforward language appropriate for the youth.
For World AIDS Day 2007, PEVOT and the Ministry of Education and Sports asked students from several institutions to enter the creative “Make a new start” competition. On the behalf of their institution, participants submitted poems, drawings or sculptures, all of which were linked by the common theme of AIDS awareness and the fight against the disease – seen from the students’ point of view. Inspired by the extremely creative response, with a large number of excellent entries to the competition, PEVOT and MOES decided to present the students’ art to a wider audience. With the help of this illustrated calendar we hope to harness their creativity to help continue the fight against HIV/AIDS.
For more information about ”Make a new start today”, please contact us.