Sunday, May 18, 2008

Video Shows

Video shows have proven to be a powerful tool for opening up discussions and debate among audiences on a wide range of issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, human rights, gender based violence, food security, orphan care and others in society as it allows viewers to empathize and associate with characters.

They (Video shows) have also proved to be one of the best tools for advocacy and information dissemination.

ADRA Malawi through Lets Fight AIDS in Malawi (LEFAM) Project embarked on community video shows as one way of advocacy, information dissemination and educating the rural masses.

Two methods were deployed in this exercise; the first one the videos were shown to the community at large and the approach involved targeted groups alone e.g. the youth, women, clergy or any other groups.

There are different types of videos that are used during the shows. As indicated in the introduction some have a targeted audience while others are for the general public.

A video is always chosen depending on what message, key issues, one would want to channel.

Choosing a video also depends on the location where the video will be shown. For instance there are some places in the country where Indian hemp is grown and many youths find themselves in a trap because the environment they are in: they find themselves indulging in drug abuse. This being the case, the film that would be shown at this particular location might sensitize communities on drug abuse and its impact to the community as well as individuals.

Furthermore, when it comes to the rural setting, videos which depict life in the rural setting are selected and beamed.

However, even in the urban areas people are able to relate with rural issues because most Malawians have their roots in the rural areas. The village is still seen as home for many people.

Having videos that appeal to both the rural and urban people helps them to relate to the issues happening in the films and draw lessons from them.

It has been observed that using videos as advocacy and information dissemination helps to change lives in a way that video appeals to the eye, hence, most people remember what they have seen and easily follow events. The visual aids also help them relate to the feelings of the people.

Even where there are language barriers, the visuals in the films help people to understand the unfolding of events.

It has been proved that videos indeed produce positive results when used. From the various video shows that ADRA Malawi has conducted, reactions from the viewers have shown that they easily follow the storyline and they are able to move with the emotions of the individuals in the film. Viewers are able to detect danger and this reveals how much they know about a particular subject. Viewers reactions is a tool that help to determine what they know, what they don’t know and what they feel is the best decision the character should have taken. In so doing communities reveal their level of knowledge about a particular subject.

Films are also one of the best tools to stir discussion in the community. Sometimes discussions are difficult to start but with videos there is always a starting point and one is sure that there will be concentration from the audience and lessons will also be drawn from the video.

Author: Chikondi Mamangina Madikiza-Madumuse

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