GABORONE – The A re Bueng campaign continues to drive impact across Botswana, encouraging the population at large to have conversations that matter. The project promotes dialogue on key socio-economic and cultural topics relevant to our progress as a community as a whole.
A re bueng looks to create dialogue on issues of health and wellness, education, gender-based violence, and violence against children. The premise of the platform sees a need to address issues before they become problems; focusing on messages of positivity and hope, specific to two focus areas:
· Encouraging men with HIV to initiate onto and adhere to HIV treatment, beings ARVs; and
· Encouraging parents and caregivers of children to protect them from violence and sexual violence.
The multi-platform campaign has launched across Botswana, with media and engagement on radio and television, in print, and speaking social media conversations that matter. The campaign itself features prominent social figures, from activities and medical professionals to traditional health practitioners and community leaders. Since April, the #AReBueng radio campaign has brought faith leaders, community leaders, experts, traditional health practitioners, HIV activists, Government officials, parents, and caregivers on the air every week to discuss how to end HIV/AIDS and prevent sexual violence against children. The A Re Bueng campaign can now be seen on billboards in Gaborone, Francistown (and Maun, and in newspaper ads and on combis. Various notable leaders in Botswana appear in the campaign including Kgosikgolo Mosadi Seboko wa Balete, Mme Irene Kwape, Kgosi Mosielele, and many others.
Dialogue is central in helping communities address known challenges and opportunities that may not otherwise be spoken of, whether because of traditional behaviour, or because they are considered taboo. One great example of that is how we raise our children – we teach them right and wrong and we strive to create open channels of communication; however, historically, this was not as easy as it is today, and yet and insights show that children want to hear about important things from their parents first. We need to have conversations that matter.
A re bueng about health, appropriate and inappropriate physical behaviours, our bodies, wellness and wellbeing, social good. These are just some of the topics members of the community can expect to explore together. We need to talk about these issues, debate, and drive positive change together.
A re bueng is a campaign that is part of PEPFAR’s Faith and Communities Initiative, brought to us by the United States Government and NAHPA. It encourages us to have conversations that matter.