The African Child Speaks "Finding our Rights in the Time of HIV" - The Story of Rudo and Themba - Comic Book
This comic book, published by Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS) with support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation, has been developed as part of a broader project to ensure that child rights are recognised and upheld within communities. In particular, it aims to enhance children's confidence and understanding of their rights and responsibilities within their own cultural context and social norms. In addition, the book aims to strengthen their ability to make decisions through a rights-based perspective, reduce their personal risk of HIV infection, and enhance their abilities to cope with the many impacts of the HIV epidemic.
The comic book tells the story of Rudo, Temba, and their friends as they begin to understand about rights, what they mean, and how they can make sure they claim them. As the "head of her household", Rudo has a lot of responsibilities, especially since her little brother Temba is living with HIV. Because they are orphans, Rudo and Temba are vulnerable to being abused by other members of their community, which is why it is important that everyone in their community understands and tries to protect their rights.
The comic book is intended for children aged 5-15 years. It has been designed so that it can be read alone by older children (12-15 years) or read to younger children (5-12 years) by a community-based volunteer, teacher, an older child, or other caregiver. At the end of each chapter, there are activities and questions that can be used to reinforce a child's understanding of his or her rights, or simply as fun activities to enrich the learning process.
SafAIDS website on December 13 2009.