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Mildmay Kenya – changing lives through Magnet Theatre

Siaya county in Kenya is a poor region that falls far behind the national progress made in fighting HIV.

The burden of HIV in Siaya stands at 24.8%. In the province where Siaya County is located, 6.2% of youth aged 15-24 are living with HIV. This is three-times higher than the national youth HIV prevalence rate.

Mildmay Kenya are using forum theatre to reach these vulnerable young people. Magnet Theatre is a project that uses storytelling, arts, dance and music to promote HIV and sexual health awareness, discussion and understanding.

Scenarios and stories inspired by the ‘real life’ experiences of adolescents and young people encourage the audience to offer solutions to problems and behaviour patterns that they recognise.

Performances are brought to places where young people gather, such as market places, villages and events.

In 2017 Mildmay Kenya ran a ‘Theatre Pilot ‘ to test if community theatre can encourage young people to access testing. The response was overwhelming.