“After watching the family in this play, I hope each one of you is able to see that we each have a role to play in the prevention of violence against women and ultimately stop the spread of HIV. Therefore, parents and you young couples make sure you raise your children in violence free homes”
– Kasambya Town Council Clerk –
In commemoration of the International Women’s Day 2022, The DREAMS team in Mubende organized a SASA themed play at the Kasambya Town Council Headquarters. The event was attended by leaders from the district, religious leaders and Adolescent girls and young women who were accompanied by their parents and spouses.
A father sold off his daughter to go work in a bar, a decision he made as the “head of the home” which sparked an argument between the parents and later resulted into domestic violence. The play later shows us the daughter returning home with an early pregnancy and HIV that she contracted while working at the bar.
The Plot was so captivating that when the District Coordinators held a discussion with the girls and their spouses, they were able to link how violence in a home and power imbalances can bring HIV into a home.
“After watching the family in this play, I hope each one of you is able to see that we each have a role to play in the prevention of violence against women and ultimately stop the spread of HIV. Therefore, parents and you young couples make sure you raise your children in violence free homes,” said Kasambya Town Council Clerk.
Indeed, sizeable literature now links GBV and HIV infection both directly and indirectly. It states that women who are beaten or dominated by their partners are much more likely to become infected by HIV than women who live in non-violent households. It also highlighted that power roles and dominant social expectations prevent communication, joint decision-making and negotiation of condom use hence resulting into HIV/AIDS prevalence.
Yunusu Sseruwoza, one of the Mubende District Coordinators says the play contributed to the large numbers that attended the commemorations.
“When we sent out invitations for the commemorations, everyone was excited that there would be a free play to watch. And indeed, the numbers are even more than we expected,” said Sseruwoza.
Some of the girl-participants who moved around their communities display placards to demonstrate against Gender-Based Violence.
Sseruwoza added that previously engagements were mainly attended by girls ranging around 20-25 in numbers with a difficulty of attracting parents and partners. However, this play had girls coming with their parents and some with their partners making a total of 60 people in attendance.
Innovations such as this play by the Mubende team could be a good way into community moblisation and a key asset to increased positive masculinity as a few of the gentlemen (partners to the girls) volunteered to be Obuntubulamu champions.
The Foundation in partnership with Mildmay Uganda (MUg) is implementing the DREAMS Project in Kassanda, Mubende, Mityana, and Luwero districts. DREAMS is an acronym for Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored and Safe Women that provides a comprehensive package of programming interventions for HIV prevention among Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) ages 9-24 to ensure they receive life and vocational skills to stay HIV negative.
Under this, The Foundation main streams Obuntubulamu in SASA! (Community mobilization and Norms Change) as an evidence-based approach that addresses the structural drivers that directly and indirectly increase AGYW’s HIV risk and other critical vulnerabilities such as Gender-Based Violence.