Safe Sex Flash Mob Excites Young Ugandans
PHOTO: Youth dancers performing at the campaign in Kisenyi, Credit: NewVision
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Kisenyi, a slum in Kampala, Uganda, was experiencing a typical day on December 1, 2014. When they awoke in the morning, the citizens of Kisenyi were probably unaware that it was World AIDS Day, but that was all about to change. Workers were pounding away in construction jobs while cars were heading to their daily destinations driving through the streets, when suddenly a music-blaring van pulled up with a crowd of young skaters and bikers. People stopped what they were doing and gathered around to see what was happening. It was a Dancing to a Safer Sex Flash Mob Activation!
Local youth organizations, Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU) and Kyuka Youth Outreach, joined forces to create an inspiring event to promote safe sex. Local musicians GNL Zamba, Maurice Hassa and Ray Signature performed, while volunteers handed out condoms and provided free HIV tests. The musicians and volunteers preached a message of safe sex through good decision making and the use of condoms to prevent STI transmission and unintended pregnancies. The message “If it’s not on, it’s not safe” echoed throughout the streets as the young people of Kisenyi became engaged and inspired.
The flash mob and concert were able to connect young people with information about sex on a whole new level. As Humphrey Nabimanya, Founder of Reach A Hand Uganda, explained,
“Providing access to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services [SRH] and information to young people in developing countries like Uganda is still a challenge, with barriers like limited access to youth friendly SRH Services, the design of messages, and providers' attitudes and actions. These barriers have led to young people shying away from accessing and utilizing the provided facilities and information… We need to talk frankly and openly about young people's sexuality.”
And that is exactly what they did!
GNL Zamba took to the platform to thrill the Kisenyi crowd Credit: NewVision
Thanks to the help of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Uganda Health Marketing Group (UHMG), volunteers at the activation were able to hand out over 21,000 free condoms and perform 1,500 free HIV tests. These efforts will help improve the sexual health and safety of thousands of young people!
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