Two actors from the group Drama Konnections

Some 34 pre-teens yesterday took part in an interactive session on stigma and discrimination, hosted by the HIV Education Committee of the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS).


The session, held at the Baptist Bible College in Fortesque, St. Philip, was a component of the 9th annual one-week residential camp, Project S.O.F.T. (Safeguarding our Future), organised by the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA).

According to chairperson of the BGIS HIV Education Committee, Esther Jones, the GIS published children’s book, "Sticks and Stones" formed the basis for the discussion, questions and dramatisation.?? She stated that reaching children at an early age was vital.??

Leader of Drama Konnections, Yvonne Weekes, speaks to campers during an HIV stigma and discrimination session, yesterday.??

??"The session was definitely well received by the children.?? We couldn’t keep them in their seats.???? At various points of the drama, the children were able to stop the actors and directed them on how they should react in the situation presented.?? It not only explored HIV and AIDS, but self-esteem, stigma, discrimination and positive life decisions," she said.??

The theme for the camp is "Know the Facts… Make the Choice" and was designed to prepare the 11 and 12 year olds for entry into secondary school by discussing the multiple challenges that will confront them, while reinforcing traditional values.?? The session was also facilitated by BGIS Committee Member, Paula Harper who discussed the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, sexually transmitted infections and the dangers of stigma and discrimination with the young people.

The dramatisation of the book was done by actors from the group, Drama Konnections, formed in 2004 by educator, director and writer, Yvonne Weekes.


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