The Scenarios from Africa Contests

Scenarios from Africa gives young people a unique opportunity to learn more about HIV/AIDS and related social issues, and to understand and express what the epidemic means for them in their own everyday lives.

The Scenarios contests invite young people up to the age of 24 to come up with ideas for short films on HIV/AIDS. Participants are encouraged to explore a range of related everyday situations, and to do so in a constructive and optimistic manner.

Over 150,000 young people from some 50 countries have participated in the six Scenarios from Africa contests held to date. At least five times that many people have directly benefited from Scenarios contest-related activities.

The contests are very successful when it comes to:

The contests have brought together tens of thousands of boys and girls to talk at length about subjects generally considered taboo, as more than half the participants so far have been members of a mixed-gender team.

Special care is taken to ensure that the contest is made accessible to particularly vulnerable youths. Contest teams include organizations working on behalf of refugees and internally displaced people, young people living with HIV, men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers, young people in prisons, girls in the care of social services, street kids, the disabled, and orphans. Many of these young people take part in the contests in small, confidential groups with the guidance of a mentor, who helps the participants deal with the HIV-related questions, personal experiences and feelings that are brought forth while they create their stories together.

When participants are asked to state the reason why they decided to take part in a Scenarios from Africa contest, the most common answer by far is:

“It’s because I have something I want to say, and I want my voice to be heard!”