Children and young people present musical in support of campaign
Maputo, 14 December 2005 - Children and young people in Mozambique join the campaign “Unite for Children Unite against AIDS” and voice their concerns through a vibrant and colourful musical drama illustrating the importance of young people in the advocacy campaign.
As part of the ceremonies for World AIDS Day, 35 children performed a successful combination of dance, theatre and music, taking maximum advantage of both vocal and corporal expression to reach and touch the minds and souls of a vast and mixed audience in Maputo City. Prevention messages, along with references to paediatric treatment, information on prevention of mother to child transmission and appeals to protect, care and support orphaned and vulnerable children were voiced and illustrated through a composition of life and folk stories and traditional dances.
The musical includes messages for both young people and adults, with the aim of raising awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS on children, in addition to disseminating prevention messages. It was an experience with profound impact not only for the audience, but also for the young performers.
14 year-old Marco who was one of the key performers said “It was great to participate in this project because it allowed me to acquire more knowledge about life. For example, when I first joined the group I was not fully aware about HIV/AIDS. But now I’m informed and I can talk with other children about what I have learned here. This group helped me to understand the issues better.”
According to UNICEF Communication Officer, Patricia Portela Souza, the main challenge now is to keep this musical alive and present it to as many people as possible nationwide, from cities to districts, from schools to community centres. “We cannot miss this opportunity of active participation of young people. It is important for young people to be supported to voice their concerns and needs and also disseminate prevention messages among their peers in the country”, she said.
The musical “Window of Hope”, was developed by the National Dance and Song Company with the support of UNICEF, National AIDS Council and active participation of children from Arco Iris, a local support group. Its success particularly among young people, complements the good results achieved by child to child approaches supported by UNICEF and partners in Mozambique. UNICEF has also been working in partnership with Radio Mozambique (RM) and Mozambique public television (TVM) through Child-to-Child Media Programmes, A total of 45 programmes are broadcast by RM in 16 national languages and Portuguese, involving 216 children and young people. A weekly TVM programme called “Roda Viva” also involves 16 children and young people also in programme design, production and presentation, contributing to increased opportunities for children to express their opinions.