Daniela Poggi documents the work of community theatre
Maputo, 20 January 2006 – As part of the production of a short documentary on social theatre, actress and presenter Daniela Poggi visited Mozambique over the past two weeks to film and learn about the work of local theatre groups in supporting development.
Daniela Poggi was nominated Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF Italy in 2001, and has since then been actively involved in supporting UNICEF humanitarian missions, especially in African countries.
During her visit to Mozambique, the actress met several theatre groups and had the opportunity to take stock of the various actions being undertaken by UNICEF and partners as part of the Children and AIDS campaign.
UNICEF as been supporting the national community theatre network called Grupo de Teatro do Oprimido (Theatre of the Oppressed – a style of drama developed in Brazil as a tool of exploring real life experiences). Through their lively performances, in which the members of the audience are invited to actively participate as performers, the community theatre groups raise awareness and promote positive attitudes and behaviour in the areas of girls’ education, gender awareness and HIV and AIDS prevention. Up until 2006, around 65,000 people in 10 provinces have been reached by 101 community theatre groups.
About 1.6 million Mozambicans are estimated to live with HIV or AIDS. Young people, particularly girls, are increasingly the most affected. It is estimated that 8.9 per cent of girls aged 15-19 and 2.9 per cent of boys in the same age group are HIV-positive.
Mozambique is also seeing an increasing number of HIV-positive children. In 2006, around 99.000 children under the age of 15 were living with HIV – the majority were below the age of five.
However, the impact of HIV/AIDS on children is seen most dramatically in the rising numbers of children orphaned by the disease. Around 380,000 of the 1.6 million orphans in Mozambique have lost their parents to the AIDS pandemic – that number is expected to rise to 650,000 by 2010.