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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

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AIDS prevention - puppets teach it!

The Zonta Club II of Colombo, an organization of business and professional females working together for the betterment of women and children, in collaboration with AIDS Foundation of Lanka (AFL) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) presented a puppet show which was especially created to communicate about HIV and AIDS recently.

Puppet performance

The show was held to note the World AIDS Day which falls on December 1 every year. 'Getting to zero' is the theme selected by the World AIDS Campaign to commemorate this year's World AIDS Day. This puppet show is another endeavour to achieve 'Zero new HIV infections'. They used Mahadanamutta and his new disciples to share information about HIV prevention and transmission. The importance of knowing about your HIV status and the importance of social acceptance of people with HIV were emphasized in the puppet show.

The show was directed by Sulochana Dissanayake, supported by a creative team that included renowned voice artists Upul Alwis and Gayan Manokumara of the percussion group 'Naadro'. The script was written by Satirist Wimalanath and Giri Harja III of Indonesia created the show's puppets, under the guidance of world famous puppet maestro, Asep Sunandar Sunarya.

It is estimated that there are nearly 3000 people living with HIV in Sri Lanka and data from the National STD/AIDS Control Programme show a gradual increase in new infections reported in the past few years. More than 15 million people worldwide live with HIV - approximately 530,000 women die each year during pregnancy or childbirth.

Zonta Club II is dedicated to create awareness on HIV through drama and puppetry shows which are considered to be very powerful communication tools. The puppet shows were held in many places such as government institutions, banks, export processing zone and universities.

Besides, Zonta Club II of Colombo does many programmes related to Women and children to uplift their living status. The ongoing projects are the Sukitha Vocational Training Centre for Special Need women in Horana to enhance the training skills and improve teaching techniques in vocational training. The women are from 16 to 32 years underprivileged with marginalized learning capacity. There are some education programmes done by Zonta Club II together with the Education Ministry.

 

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