Emma Watt ’13
Assessing HIV/AIDS & Health Literacy/Access in Rural Villages
This summer, I worked with REPACTED, a Magnet Theater group based in Nakuru, Kenya, that focuses on HIV/AIDS prevention. Magnet Theater uses performance to create a forum for communities to discuss health and social issues in the developing world, such as HIV/AIDS, female circumcision, and alcoholism. Magnet Theater helps audiences to analyze the factors contributing to risky health behaviors by dramatizing a situation in which a character needs to choose whether or not to engage in a risky behavior. The audience is asked to advise the character and the troupe facilitates the discussion, providing information and allowing the audience to analyze the issue as a community. My specific project was to work with REPACTED to train two youth groups from the rural Kuria West District of Kenya to perform Magnet Theater outreaches in their own communities. Together with a few other interns, I assisted actors from REPACTED with a three-day training workshop for these youth groups. Specifically, I ran a voice projection workshop to help the actors be heard in the outdoor marketplaces where Magnet Theater is typically performed. I also observed several outreaches each week and helped the groups to reflect on their progress.
Mahiri Mwita, Lecturer in Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies; Collins Odu Odour, REPACTED Youth Group