INSTRUCT uses an audio-drama entitled Beyond Victims and Villains (BVV) to build an enabling environment in communities, in which young women can start to make choices in their lives, including choices to protect themselves against HIV infection. The eight-episode evidence-based audio-drama was originally developed to share findings from a large-scale survey of school pupils in South Africa. Updated with evidence from surveys in Botswana and other nearby countries, the audio-drama is being used in all the five INSTRUCT districts.

The eight episodes are:

  • Understanding sexual violence
  • Culture of sexual violence
  • Not all men rape
  • When victims become villains
  • Cool teens and cold reality
  • Sexual violence and HIV risk
  • Transactional sex
  • Choice disability

The BVV audio-drama has three characters: a local social worker, a CIET fieldworker, and the scientific head of CIET. In each episode, they discuss evidence about the topic and its implications. Groups listen to each episode, usually played from a micro-SD card in an MP3 player, then a facilitator guides discussion of the contents and the group considers local solutions to the problems covered in the episode.

Training of BVV facilitators

The intention is for BVV to be widely known and discussed in all sections of the communities in the INSTRUCT five districts. It’s also important that the process is sustainable in the long term. For this reason, the INSTRUCT team has worked closely with government and other existing groups to identify people to be trained in the use of BVV materials. The training, over three days, covers facilitation skills as well as the contents of the materials. The numbers trained by the end of 2017 are:

  • Guidance teachers in all primary and secondary schools: 197
  • Health education assistants in all clinics (HEAs): 124
  • Traditional doctors: 147
  • Men active in their communities: 99

Follow up of trained facilitators

During 2017, we have followed up trained facilitators to see to what extent they are using the materials and identify any problems they face with forming and maintaining BVV groups.

Among 89 schools (103 trained teachers), 65 were already implementing BVV sessions with the pupils and nearly all reported an excellent response from the pupils. The INSTRUCT team presented these findings in a poster at the AIDSImpact conference in Cape Town, 13-15 November 2017.

Among 39 trained HEAs contacted, 33 were using the BVV materials with groups in the communities; 29 reported that the response of the community groups was excellent.

Among 43 trained traditional doctors contacted, 32 were using the BVV materials with 1-4 groups in their communities, and reported positive responses from the groups. The INSTRUCT team presented these findings in an oral presentation at the AIDSImpact conference in Cape Town, 13-15 November 2017.