World AIDS Day marked with screening, testing
AS part of World AIDS Day commemorations on Monday, Sesotho Media and Development (SM&D) held a screening, discussion and HIV-testing session in Ha Sekhaupane, Mafeteng.
SM&D is a non-profit organisation that creates awareness on various social issues through mobile screenings of documentaries and dramas. They traverse the length and breadth of the country, screening films and educating people in remote areas who usually cannot access such facilities.
Working in conjunction with councillors, chiefs and the police in the districts of the country, SM&D’s mission is to bring positive change within communities.
The locally-produced docu-drama Khetho Eaka! (My choice) and another documentary, Steps, were screened for the Ha Sekhaupane community. Khetho Eaka! addresses a numbers of issues linked to HIV such as rape, dating married people, alcohol abuse and forced marriages, while Steps chronicles the story of an HIV positive man who married a negative woman highlighting how discordant couples can live together.
In the discussion session led by SM&D facilitators, members of the community revealed that they learned about the importance of getting tested and of talking to their children about social challenges since they tend to get the wrong information from friends or social media.
They also said the practice of abducting girls to force them into marriage is still prev- alent.
The officer commanding Matelile Police Station, Senior Inspector Matlotlo Mphohla, further elaborated on the consequences of engaging in forced marriages, which he said is regarded as kidnapping before the courts of law.
“There are only two types of marriages in this country which is a white wedding; an agreement between two people over the age of 21 to get married, and the traditional wedding whereby there is agreement between the two families to marry off their children. Abduction is considered a crime which will land you in jail,” Sen Insp Matlotlo Mphohla said.
SM&D also invited nurses and social workers to the gathering, affording the Ha Sekhaupane community a chance to get tested in large numbers and counselling sessions thereafter.
SM&D also donated M2 100 to help the community start an income generating project to assist vulnerable members of the community.
MEMBERS of the ha Sekhaupane being tested for HIV
The documentaries Ke Khetho eaka and Steps