Visit the Beyond Victims and Villains page for a general description of the BVV intervention.

Refreshments during a BVV session in a Swaziland school

We began BVV in Swaziland in 2009. A CIET representative visited the sites and presented him/herself to the community inner council (Bandlancani) through the community Bucopho. The Bucopho / Indvuna (Chief’s right hand)/Umgijimi (messager) mobilised the communities to attend a meeting where the CIET representative briefly presented the intervention. The (Inkhundla) Constituency covers a number of communities. At the meeting the representative identified potential BVV participants and arranged a first meeting of each BVV group.

We formed four types of group: older men and women; young men and young women. The groups listened to each BVV episode in Siswati and took part in sometimes very heated debates. For some groups we started with the last episode – Transactional sex – because communities said they were unhappy constantly talking about HIV and this brought a new perspective and motivated participants. Members of the inner council (Bandlacane) participated in some BVV groups.

After a few sessions, at the request of participants, we often formed mixed sex groups and women and men heard each other’s opinions on key issues. We covered episodes weekly or twice a month.

Swaziland school pupils with their BVV programme certificates

Initially a central team facilitated all groups but we later trained community BVV facilitators from among initial participants. This proved successful. Some exchange visits between communities also took place; this is feasible in Swaziland where all sites are close together. For example a group of young men from one site visited young men from a nearby site and to hold a debate; the formulated a way to sustain the BVV programme in the future.

A particular feature of BVV in Swaziland has been the inclusion of school going youth.

We consulted with senior officials in the Ministry of education (the Principal Secretary, Regional educational officers and guidance and counselling officers) and held a workshop to introduce them to the BVV materials to be shared with learners. We then trained guidance teachers from schools in the BVV communities. With the support of school principals, teachers and/or CIET facilitators led BVV discussions with learners from Form 1-2 and Form 4, often assisted by the community BVV facilitators.