It's up to you


Select language:


"For several years now Arché has been working on a daily basis with the primary schools within the Diocese of Kisii, in south-west Kenya. Arché educators conduct an Aids prevention programme for pre-adolescents in classes attended by youngsters from 12-14 years of age. The aim of this project is not only to give correct information on HIV/Aids, on how it is transmitted and how it can be prevented, but also to

  • promote, among the young, new personal behaviours and attitudes based on a new set of values which fosters greater risk-awareness, self-esteem, self-respect and respect for others;
  • improve communication, as well as relationships, between the two sexes, encourage reflections on the sense of interaction between male and female;
  • fight against the stigma and discrimination towards AIDS, HIV positive people and those affected by Aids.

Over these past few years, we have met and listened to thousands of Kenyan pre-adolescents, who have helped us understand what risk situations for HIV contraction they face most frequently as they go about their daily business. Prevention programmes similar to the ones introduced by Arché in schools are relatively unusual, as they are relatively complex to organise and rather costly- they are something local bodies can ill afford. Arché itself cannot be everywhere. This is why we came up with the idea of aprevention tool which could transmit everything we have learned in all our years promoting prevention in Africa,which could travel more easily than any Arché team in Sub-Saharan Africa, and which could offer strong points of discussion among the pre-adolescents under the guidance of a facilitator.

Directed by Francesco Jodice 

Produced by Arché Onlus 

Made by Film Master 

Distributed in Africa by Paulines Africa 

Duration 46 minutes - 16 minutes per episode 
This video is a strong tool which offers points of discussion with and among pre-adolescents on the subject of HIV/Aids. It must not be watched out of context, but within organised contexts such as schools, parishes, missions, within home based care services in villages (health and social welfare services for the HIV-positive population on the territory) where HIV prevention programmes already exist. The video can be used with the help of a personal computer, even in the absence of electricity. It should be borne in mind that there is a dearth of products of this kind in Africa. What is available on the market today is often of poor technical quality and far too focussed on threatening the young to adopt non-risky behaviours. What characterises our product, on the other hand, is the positive message it conveys: it is important to encourage youngsters to adopt virtuous behaviour not through the threat of negative or even tragic consequences (an unwanted pregnancy, contracting Aids, etc.) but because they understand the values inspiring a particular behaviour: I will not get drunk, I will not give my body in exchange for something, I will not use the other person's body because I understand the dignity of my person and that of every human being, because I understand and respect the value of my body and that of the other person's, etc. If I appreciate the value and beauty of my life, I will not throw it away or waste it; I will not adopt risky behaviour, because I have understood what an extraordinary opportunity life is offering me. My future depends on the choices I make today. It's up to me... it's up to you!

The video opens with an introduction inviting youngsters to reflect on what they are about to watch, to place themselves in the main protagonists' shoes. It is divided into three episodes, each of which explores a specific high risk situation for HIV contraction which, according to Arché's experience, is particularly frequent in the daily life of a pre-adolescent African.
  • Overindulgence in alcohol is a highly widespread phenomenon in Africa, present in cities and rural areas, and among people of all social classes. It is not limited to the male gender. Overindulgence in alcohol leads to the loss of self-control, with all the consequences this entails.
  • Demand for (and offer of) sex by an adult using threats in exchange of protection/money/school fees, etc. Having sex with an adult, who has been exposed to HIV for a longer period of time, obviously exposes the minor to a high risk.
  • Relations, even sexual, amongst adolescents (pressured by their peers) for fun, to have power within the group of peers.

The DVD comes with a leaflet, as requested by many. It gives a few pointers as to the topics treated and the values which must be explained and discussed with the youngsters.

This DVD can be used not only within Arché's prevention programme, but can be distributed in any Anglophile, Francophone or Lusophone African states interested in Aids prevention programmes targeted at pre-adolescents- therefore to a potentially large number of target users. Distribution, which has already started in Anglophile countries, occurs via the Paulines in Africa, which has centres in various African countries: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria. With regards to Francophone African States, they have centres in the Ivory Coast and Kinshasa, besides Angola and Mozambique. The agreement binds the Paulines to dub the DVD into different languages: Kiswahili for East africa, French and Portuguese.

Also available from 2011 is the video with Italian subtitles.

For further information:

Cristina Bocca 
tel. +39 02 6688521