Inside Story

by Discovery Learning Alliance, Inc.
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Inside Story
Inside Story
Inside Story
Jul 15, 2014

Launching "Inside Story" in Botswana: a rewarding experience

Launching "Inside Story" in Botswana: a rewarding experience

Submitted by Sarah Ravhudzulo on 13 June 2014
Author:  Celma Pedro and Sarah Ravhudzulo

There is nothing quite like the ecstatic feeling of accomplishment when you finally complete a project or assignment you have worked on for weeks or months. This experience becomes greater when your efforts contribute meaningfully to an important issue, or make a difference in someone’s life. This reward makes the long hours, sacrifice, and compromise worthwhile. 

As Project Associates at the Building Local Capacity for Delivery of HIV Services in Southern Africa Project (BLC), implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and funded by the US Agency for International Development’s Regional HIV/AIDS Program (USAID/RHAP), we are frequently the ones operating behind the scenes, ensuring that logistics are in place, from banners being printed, to compiling registration and attendance lists. Weeks of planning and preparation paid off on Wednesday afternoon when, in collaboration with PEPFAR/Botswana, BLC hosted a launch of the Inside Story film in Gaborone, Botswana.

Inside Story was produced in 2011 by Quizzical Pictures, a leading South African production company, for Discovery Learning Alliance with the support of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), USAID/RHAP, Chevron, Discovery Communications, Access Bank, the South African Department of Trade and Industry, SEACOM, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The film follows young Kalu as he relocates from Kenya to South Africa to pursue a career in professional soccer. Before he leaves his home country, Kalu is infected with HIV. Having previously seen the film and experienced the impact it has on viewers, we had a sense of pride in what was about to be revealed to our audience. The film presents a great mix of real-life drama and animated sequences showing HIV inside the body. While being gripping and entertaining, it engages and educates audiences on HIV. 

Botswana youth attend the launch of "Inside Story" in GaboroneMichael J. Murphy, Charge d’Affaires, US Embassy, hands 500 Inside Story DVDs to Dr. Richard Matlhare, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Skills Development

MSH is involved in distribution of the film in southern Africa, and we promote its use as an HIV prevention tool. As a precursor to nationwide distribution in Botswana, the launch facilitated screening of the film to government and civil society stakeholders as well as Batswana youth, bringing the technical experts together with the aspiring youth. The film appeals to everyone because it explains the biological aspects of HIV’s effect on the body through a realistic story that brings the messages to life. Seeing these resonate with people who attended the launch made all the hard work organizing the event worthwhile.

Victor Thanke, Information, Education, and Communication officer at the Botswana National AIDS Coordinating Agency, stated, “Clearly this is a movie that needs to be seen by the masses. We are going to incorporate it into our programming and share it with our government and civil society partners.”

Vanessa Kintu, one of several Batswana youth invited to the launch, shared, “The movie was motivating and inspiring. It encourages us to never give up no matter what challenges we face. It is useful for other youth because it teaches us how to protect ourselves. I am going to watch this every day and share it with my family.”

Michael J. Murphy, the Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Gaborone, handed over a donation of 500 copies of the DVD to Dr. Richard Mathlare, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Skills Development. “We are in it together,” Dr. Mathlare emphasized, “Through partnership, we are going to ensure every school has a copy [of Inside Story].” There are nearly half a million young people in primary and secondary schools in the country who need to be reached with information to make healthy choices, he shared.

Although we are relieved the event planning is over, we can’t help but look forward to the next opportunity to share Inside Story!

Celma Pedro and Sarah Ravhudzulo are Project Associates at the Building Local Capacity for Delivery of HIV Services in Southern Africa Project. Inside Story is available as a free download in English, French, Portuguese, and Swahili at:

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Organization Information

Discovery Learning Alliance, Inc.

Location: Silver Spring, MD - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @discovery_learn
Discovery Learning Alliance, Inc.
Ellen Henderson-Madhavan
Project Leader:
Ellen Henderson-Madhavan
Executive Assistant, Office Coordinator
Silver Spring, MD United States

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