“Taking HIV and AIDS information to institutions of higher learning”
On Thursday 4th October 2013, the Info Centre conducted a mini survey to some of the tertiary students from the institutions visited during the rollout of the “Taking HIV and AIDS Information to Institutions of Higher Learning”. The interest and aim of this survey was finding out if the films used as tools to raise HIV and AIDS awareness were relevant and effective. Institutions visited were the University of Swaziland, Swaziland College of Technology and William Pitcher College. The general feeling captured is that the “Inside Story” film was actually effective at conveying the message to individuals on the need to change their behaviours.
The main objective behind the roll-out of the “orientation” program was to get students to change their behaviours. Other objectives were to provide a forum for information dissemination and sharing to the participating students, and to forge partnerships with HIV and AIDS strategic partners like AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Family Life Association of Swaziland (FLAS), LUSWETI, Population Services International (PSI) and others.
The mini-survey yielded very positive results. Students shared their opinions about main themes and the movies in general.
Talking about “Inside Story”, Thabo Senzo Kunene, a first year student at the University of Swaziland said “HIV awareness was well portrayed. I learnt about the source of HIV transmission and thus developed a mindset of determination to know what I want in life and courage to make informed decisions”. Senzo further said that he knows for a fact that the Swazi youth take testing for HIV and knowing their status for granted, but since being exposed to the film, he is determined to know his HIV status and take precautions so as not to get the virus. In conclusion, he emphasized that the movie was informative and relevant to University circumstances and that he had also learnt the importance of positive living and knowing all the facts on HIV.
“Very educational, interesting, and easy to follow” observed Mahloba Mahlalela who is also from University of Swaziland. He stated that the story line was very relevant to day–to-day life in a university. “The incidents in the story reflect mistakes we do as the youth,” he added. He said that after watching the movie, he was encouraged to make informed decisions.
Another student, Angel Hlatjwako of William Pitcher Teacher Training College stated, “The movie was very informative and touching, if that movie didn’t touch you, you don’t know the dangers and implications of HIV. After watching that movie one feels like changing one’s behaviours promptly.”
“The movie is educational and got me thinking of the slightest mistakes that can lead to a life time consequence - having sex for the first time doesn’t suggest your partner is also having sex for the first time, we have to be very careful when it comes to such decisions.” Simphiwe Sibandze of Swaziland College of Technology shared.
Bongiwe Mkhonta of William Pitcher Teacher Training College inputted that “What was happening in the movie, in reality, we see happening even here at college. We ought to make informed decisions even without parents’ supervision.”
Nkosinathi Mthembu of University of Swaziland urged for the continued use of “Inside Story” to raise awareness on HIV as there are so many issues faced by the youth. “That movie was helpful; I realized that lack of knowledge can lead to death. Kalu’s career was affected because of one mistake” he quipped. Nkosinathi said he also learnt about the importance of making informed decisions in life as well as the importance of avoiding situations that can lead to HIV.
Finally, University of Swaziland student, Bongani Mvubu, who is the Coordinator of Students Societies at the Luyengo Campus adds, “the movie is more informative, it touches on everything relating to HIV; it demonstrates the life in tertiary and it should be made available. Issues of condom usage, multiple concurrent partners and positive living were touched”.
The one conclusion that can be reached as a result of the mini survey is that the “Taking HIV and AIDS information to institutions of higher learning” campaign provided the information students need to make healthy lifestyle choices and protect themselves from HIV. There were more than 1900 students that were reached at the ten institutions of higher learning visited.
For more information, please contact Hlobsile Tsabedze.