Wednesday, January 11, 2012

MISS HIV Film Showing

The crusade began with worship and the onlookers came from all around. The dust rose as people sang and danced in the marketplace. The generator spit and sputtered under the demands of the sound equipment and speakers bigger than me. The preacher called for repentance and submission. The children crammed into a circle around me to stare at the muzungu while all this went on. After greeting them, they just looked at me. Just stared.

This is just a sample of the population viewing the film.
The other pictures turned out was dark.
TONS of people came, TONS.
Easily more than 500 people crowded the market space to view the MISS HIV film produced by Ethnographic Media. The film describes a clash in ideologies about how best to address the HIV issue: abstinence verses safe sex. Many of the stories portrayed in the film were about African people and more specifically Ugandans. The country’s president and his wife are shown in the film promoting abstinence.

Showing the film created a platform for discussing the issue in this former Internally Displaced Persons camp. Camp life became necessary with the onslaught of the Lord’s Resistance Army and living in such a camp gave quick rise to HIV infection rates. Although the resources for testing and counseling people following the film were not yet arranged, Pastor Patrick felt that showing the film was essential to at least beginning the dialogue in the community as well as raising awareness. I pray that our next visit and our next showing affords the resources needed to provide essential follow up.