JIBILIKA Dance Trust is set to expand its popular culture HIV awareness campaign to cities outside Harare including Mutare, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Gweru.
Starting next month, in the four provinces Jibilika will be working with local community facilitators who will co-ordinate and run the programme.
"On average three schools will be targeted per province including some rural ones and a community where similar programmes will be carried out. The performances will be on issues around HIV prevention and sexual reproductive health," said Jibilika Dance Trust founder Plot Mhako.
Mhako added that school clubs and community peer groups would be established and empowered to replicate the campaign.
He said among other things, the performances would stimulate discussions on HIV and Aids, sex and sexuality, and, most importantly, stir young people to step up the fight against HIV and Aids.
"Interesting edutainment material will be distributed during the campaigns including copies of the 13-track Zimdancehall CD, Positive Riddim, which was released as part of the programme which features artistes like Tocky Vibes, Shinsoman, Kila T, Juwela, Tally B and Freeman among others," said Mhako.
Last year Jibilika took the programme to 16 schools where themed dance and music performances were done for students raising awareness on HIV and encouraging young people to stay safe reaching out to more than 15 000 students.
Popular hip-hop and dancehall groups and artistes such as Ba Shupi, Tally B, Probeatz, DNA Dance Crew and Flip Floppers Crew were among those that led the campaign. Arts HIV clubs were initiated in every school in addition to several regular community workshops, and various life skills activities including a monthly cypher that is currently running at Book Café with one set for the January 31.
"Jibilika realises that without access to the right information and services, young people will continue to be exposed to more dangers of contracting sexualy transmitted infections and HIV hence our programing has been tailor made for our target societies for information acquisition, information for empowerment and formation for decision making," said Mhako.
STEP UP 2 HIV uses mediums that young people are interested in outside of the classroom such as elements of hip-hop and dancehall as the bridge to teach them about HIV and Aids empowering them with the knowledge, tools and opportunity to use their own art, media and ideas as a way to empower their voices for an Aids-free generation.