The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has committed support for promoting HIV awareness in the Deaf Community. The initiative entitled “Reducing HIV Vulnerability in Deaf Children through Peer Education and Dance” was launched at this year’s JCDC Deaf Dance Finals held at The Little Theatre on Friday June 12, 2009, but its impact will be reflected in the 2010 Competition when dance-skit entries will be required to carry HIV/AIDS prevention messages.
Reducing HIV Vulnerability

Danny Williams School entry at 2009 Finals

UPDATES:

When the training for Peer Educators ended in March 2010, the Dance Instructor visited each school site to offer guidance on dance composition and choreography.  

 

The JAD received a visit from a team from the UNESCO Paris Office who were impressed by our project report and requested to observe and document our activities as an example for future projects.

The JAD had requested an extension on this project implementation period as a result of the delays caused by the unrest in Kingston in May 2010.

 

 

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES:

 

 

Gleaner:    THE DEAF DANCE AGAINST AIDS

http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20100706/ent/ent3.html

 

 

 

Gleaner:  

THE DEAF USE DANCE TO TEACH PREVENTION

http://mobile.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20100702/news/news6.php

 

 

Observer:    DANCE COMPETITION FOCUSES ON HIV-AIDS AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/mobile/entertainment/Deaf-Dance-Competition-focuses-on-HIV-AIDS-Awareness-Campaign_7765269

 

 

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PROJECT OVERVIEW

Implementing partners for this project are The Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD), the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), and Jamaica Aids Support for Life (JASL).
The project launch featured life stories of HIV positive Deaf adults in an effort to highlight the impact of HIV in the Deaf community.
The project seeks to reduce the vulnerability of the Deaf population in Jamaica to HIV infection, through the provision of empowerment and awareness building programmes and activities with Deaf adolescents and youth.  This project will engage 25 Deaf young adults in a one-week residential workshop to build their capacity as peer educators for HIV/AIDS awareness.
A special feature of the approach to be adopted for HIV awareness building will be the use of dance-skits as a medium of expressing vital concepts.  This “edutainment” approach seeks to promote learning through a medium that both educates and entertains.  Given the fact that Deaf persons are visual learners, this approach is expected to be most effective in building their understanding of HIV/AIDS and the associated risks for a healthy lifestyle.
After an initial one-week training from July 20-24, 2009, the Peer Educators will be required to implement an HIV Awareness project within their respective schools, towards producing a dance-skit entry for the National Deaf Dance Competition coordinated by the JCDC.  Over a six-month period they will be provided with professional guidance for choreographing their productions.
Winning entries will be shared at the community level for promotion of HIV/AIDS awareness among members of the Deaf community.