UNICEF Botswana is supporting NAPHA to roll out a radio show called Shuga #ma2000BW. The concept of the radio show is to use mass media through a mix of serial drama and live discussion as a pivot to empower adolescents and young people (AYPs) to make necessary changes in their sexual and love lives. Other linkages such as social media, community mobilization and interpersonal communications are implemented to advance the message reach and address nuances that cannot be addressed through media channels.
The objective of the show is to prompt introspection and reflections by listeners through real life dilemmas and opinion sharing, as it has emerged that behavior change, and attitude shifts are accelerated mostly by introspection rather than mere message delivery. The show also equips adolescents and young people with skills to make the right decisions and self-efficacy to act right as way to support their intention to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
The 13-episode radio show focuses on 5 key areas;
1. Risks perceptions: dating older partners vs age mates
2. Condom use
3. HIV testing
4. Multiple Concurrent Partnerships
5. Encouraging boys not to pressure girls into sex and sexual harassment.
Shuga Radio is currently airing on the national radio RB2, every Saturday from 1000hrs-1030 and expected to reach more than 100,000 listeners, young people also take part in studio discussions that follow the drama series. It is also available on an online platform called 124, where Orange mobile users just dial 124 to listen to Shuga episodes at any time. The platform has already had more than 10,000 listeners and has been accessed more than 200,000 times. More than 4,000 young people between 10 and 19 years are already being reached with behavior change SMSs.
To engage young people on Shuga through community mobilization, UNICEF and NAPHA in collaboration with Makgabaneng embarked on a roadshow to two districts to promote the Shuga Drama. The roadshows began in Mmadinare and Selibe Phikwe and then Letlhakane and Orapa respectively. A total of 1530 young were they reached through the roadshows. In addition to promoting the Shuga radio show, the roadshows were a way of taking services to the key districts that have more young people affected by HIV and AIDS . During roadshows different youth service providers and youth serving organizations had an opportunity to provide their services to the young people, The services included HIV and NCD testing, condom distribution and youth counselling. The government through the DHMT offices and the DAC provided HIV testing and counselling. They were also complemented by Tebelopele. The roadshows were intended to also create demand creation amongst young people.