Femina HIP (Health Information Project)
Femina uses edutainment as its main approach and methodology, entertaining and educating audiences throughout Tanzania in formats that mirror youth culture and language. Real life stories, role-modelling, and docudrama are central to the approach as well as interactive, participatory production processes – thereby giving a voice to ordinary people all over Tanzania.
Through the production of recurring, long-term media vehicles with national reach, Femina HIP aims to create a media platform enabling people to express themselves, share experiences, and learn. The media products include: Fema magazine, Si Mchezo! magazine, Fema TV Talk Show and the chezasalama.com website.
Fema magazine targets young women and men aged 15-25 in secondary schools and workplaces. This 64-page bilingual (English and Swahili) publication is printed quarterly and has, according to Femina HIP, become a popular magazine in Tanzania. The glossy magazine contains messages about sexuality, relationships, risk, HIV/AIDS, civic education, and other lifestyle issues. Fema has a print run of 140,000 copies (in 2008) per issue. It is distributed free of charge to about 2500 secondary schools in Tanzania and to over 200 civil society organisations to support their community-based activities.
Si Mchezo! (“No Joke” in Swahili) magazine targets rural, out-of-school youth, aged 15-25, and their communities with messages about HIV/AIDS, healthy lifestyles, sexuality, skills, entrepreneurship, and livelihoods. The magazine appears in Swahili and messages are tailored for a semi-literate audience. Si Mchezo! is currently distributed free of charge to more than 250 partner organisations in Tanzania, including large-scale workplaces, civil society organisations, and local government. 150,000 copies (in 2008) of every issue are distributed and further expansion is planned. According to the organisation, the success of Si Mchezo! magazine is largely due to its community-based editorial collection process. For every issue, editors travel to rural communities with a digital camera and document the real-life stories and views of ordinary people.
Fema TV Talk Show is a talk show for and by youth, reinforcing and complimenting messages communicated in other Femina HIP products. The 30-minute, weekly show in Swahili is broadcast nationally on ITV and TBC1. The show's young hosts invite young people, experts, celebrities, and politicians to discuss critical, and sometimes controversial, issues relating to youth lifestyles. Increasingly, the shows are shot on location in rural areas allowing a wider public to share their experiences and giving voice to young people and communities who generally do not have the opportunity to access the airwaves. Interactivity is encouraged through SMS and email. Organisations can access copies of the show for use in their community activities.
The chezasalama.com website is a resource for young people and educators throughout the East African region and beyond. It is interactive and bi-lingual (Swahili and English), and mirrors the content and messages of other Femina products, providing youth with information on sexuality, relationships, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS. The website is actively promoted through Femina HIP media products, other websites, chezasalama.com partner organisations - Students Partnership Worldwide (SPW) and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ)- and other popular channels. Offline CD copies are available to schools and Fema Clubs with computers but no internet access.
Femina HIP has also produced a range of one-time publications and booklets on different aspects of HIV/AIDS including Care and Treatment, Living Positively and how HIV affects children. Several of these are translations and cultural adaptations of publications from the Soul City Institute for Health and Development communication in South Africa, a partner of Femina operating a regional capacity building programme. These publications aim to break the silence surrounding HIV/AIDS and reduce stigma and are distributed to organisations, local government, care and treatment clinics, and testing centres across Tanzania to reinforce their work.
According to the organisation, Femina HIP media products provide conduits for hard-hitting discussion and open talk on a broad range of contemporary themes and issues for men and women alike. Through a mix of mediums, it aims to enhance positive and democratic public debate, stimulate critical thinking and personal responsibility, and contribute to behaviour and social change in Tanzania.
Swedish International Development Cooperation (Sida), the Royal Danish Embassy, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, USAID/PEPFAR, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), and the Rapid Funding Envelope.
Email from Rebecca Arnold to Soul Beat Africa on November 26, 2003 and email received from Diana Nyakyi, Femina HIP, on July 30 2008.