Tsa Banana peer education programme in Botswana

Tsa Banana — which means "For Adolescents" in Setswana — was a USAID-funded project to test the impact of youth-oriented social marketing techniques. Though the project ended in 1996, most of the components and strategies of Tsa Banana have continued in Botswana, and have been replicated in Zambia, Malawi, and Namibia. Peer education and promotion (PEP) sessions were 15-30 minute shows that entertained small audiences in schools and public places by dramatizing condom negotiation, holding contests based on audience knowledge of reproductive health topics, and answering audience questions. Initially, headmasters were reluctant to allow the PEP teams to perform at schools during school hours. The teams quickly earned the trust of headmasters, however, by adapting their shows for various age groups and by emphasizing the importance of knowing limits, asking for advice, seeking treatment and resisting peer pressure. By the end of the project, virtually every 13-18 year-old in Lobatse schools had seen an in-school show. (Adapted from project description by John Harris, PSI Namibia)

More information: Meekers D, Stallworth G, Harris J. (1997). "Changing adolescents' beliefs about protective sexual behavior: the Botswana Tsa Banana program." PSI Research Division Working Paper No. 3, Washington: Population Services International (external link).

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Incorporating Indigenous Culture into Interactive Educational Tools for HIV/AIDS Education in Botswana

The Botswana government's battle against HIV/AIDS includes a package of interactive educational tools that use indigenous culture to teach people about the pandemic.  The intention is to educate people about AIDS drugs and prevention of the disease using culturally relevant symbols such as termites eating away the wood of fences around cattle pens, just as the disease eats away at the immune system.  Cattle are the symbol of wealth in this southern African country.  According to a health ministry official, "The interactive tool will empower our people with the knowledge they require to make informed lifestyle decisions that could limit their risk of HIV infection".