Namibia is one of the countries most affected by the HIV pandemic. We have put massive efforts to curb the impact. However, teenagers remain vulnerable. With an estimated age of sexual debut at 15 and the absence of condoms in schools, many teenagers put themselves at risk. This project works directly with teenagers using a medium they relate to. Through the power of dance, drama, youth-friendly publications, OYO creates safe spaces for teenagers to learn, share and adopt saver behaviours.
Namibia is one of the countries most affected by the HIV pandemic, with an average prevalence of 12.6%. Adolescent girls and young women are particularly affected (prevalence among women is 15.7% and among men 9.3%). Yet less than 75% of our teenagers know their HIV status. Sensitising and educating our young people speaking a language they understand remain a challenge.
The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) uses Arts to create social awareness. We speak a language teenagers understand. With our OYO dance troupe, we present non-verbal pieces teenagers can relate to. With our dancers we visit schools and communities, perform for students, interact with students, answer questions and offer safe spaces. Our youth counselor is trained to deal confidentially with the most sensitive cases. And our youth facilitators are trained to ensure youth participation.
The project will reach 15,000 teenagers. By appealing to their emotions and not their intellect, we encourage them to reflect on their lives and find solutions that work for them. We encourage teenagers to get tested for HIV. We create safe spaces where they can share freely. If more teenagers know their status, those living with HIV can access treatment at an early stage and those who are not living with the virus can develop better remain HIV negative.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).