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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Lesotho Prison Programme

In December 2010 the first group of trained facilitators from 6 prisons graduated in Lesotho. This groundbreaking program with prison inmates and wardens has been implemented by our partner organisation SM&D (Sesotho Media & Development) with mentorship support from STEPS.

The program included training workshops and on-site mentorship during an extensive facilitated film-screening program in prisons. Lesotho Correctional Services and inmates have rated the program as a great success. Achievements so far include:

• HIV support groups have been formed in each of the prisons
• Inmates, who are living with HIV actively engaged in dialogue with the prison community challenging stigma and discrimination
• Inmates were able to voice their concerns in front of wardens and officers
• Access to testing, care and support services and treatment has improved in most prisons
• Male youth facilitators were allowed to co-facilitate screenings in the female prison

In Leribe prison, facilitators trained another group of peers. During the graduation ceremonies, inmates expressed their gratitude to SM&D through speeches, songs and poems. Leribe prison inmate read two of his poems:

THE GLADIATORS OF HOPE
Inside this arena of HIV/AIDS and death,
Inside this colossal building of oppressive virus and obscure illness,
Inside the world where this pandemic has killed so many people
Inside the universe where fear of illness and death over clouded our poor people

You fought to win; from the outer space you heard our cry,
Sesotho Media you are the gladiators of hope,
You fought for the nation that’s panic stricken by HIV and Aids,
On our pathetic cries you came alone to rescue us,
Create is your passionate interest on the lives of Basotho
You diverted our lives from distraction,
You taught us how to fight against the spread of HIV and Aids,
Your films are your key weapons,
They are so real, true to believe

Indeed they are the real steps for the future,
They teach us about living positively,
About how to fight against stigma and discrimination,
About transmission disclosure and prevention,
They teach us about HIV and Aids awareness and treatment,
Please keep on; don’t ever turn your back on us poor people
Because we need you, Victory is what you deserve,
To your years, may God add more and many more,
May you live to fulfil your dream and reach your goal, Of an Aids free generation Sesotho Media you are the gladiators of hope and, Our aviation is what you deserve.

HELLO SESOTHO MEDIA
From the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho,
From the heart of Basotholand,
From the blue waterfalls of Lesotho,
From the top of Thaba- Bosiu mountain, We say hello Sesotho Media

With your knowledge about HIV and AIDS,
About the STEPS films and how to use them,
With your attitude about non judgemental and non discriminaton,
With your honesty and friendliness, respect of culture,
HIV status, sexual orientation and confidentiality,
With your skills about facilitation techniques such as
Active listening, good questioning and summarising,
About dealing with conflict and emotion
We say hello Sesotho Media

Come and dance the tiring dance of men with us,
Come and join our songs of happiness and joy,
Come and teach us more about your steps for the future,
Come and let us give you our thanks for helping us,
To fight against HIV and AIDS
We say hello Sesotho Media!
By: Tsatsi J. R.

Image from Trip Advisor

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Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Uncategorized