Buddies for Love is a theatre for development project created by the Patsimeredu Edutainment Trust that uses drama to address facts and fiction about HIV/AIDS with young people. Developed as a response to the epidemic in Zimbabwe, it also aims to challenge negative perceptions and attitudes regarding people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Communication Strategies: 

The programme uses theatre to disseminate HIV/AIDS information and promotes behaviour change among youth in Zimbabwe. Buddies for Love was developed to facilitate communication by stimulating debate, dialogue, and discussion to enhance youth participation in HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment. The project is geared toward in-school youth so that children can enhance communication in their communities.

The programme aims to dispel some of the HIV/AIDS myths by engaging youth in contemporary HIV/AIDS issues. Buddies for Love aims to deal with stigma and discrimination by giving HIV/AIDS a human face. It addresses negative attitudes towards people infected and affected by emphasising the need for friendship and peer support, and provides practical advice for young caregivers and communities to fight stigma and discrimination.

Buddies for Love aims to reach areas and audiences that other media cannot reach to get students talking about difficult issues. The show presents situations relevant to them through drama and improvisation. The performances are followed by discussions, which are aimed at helping the students to share what they have learned and how it relates to their lives and community.

To support the theatre production, the organisers also distribute print materials, including posters, brochures, booklets, and magazines.

Development Issues: 

HIV/AIDS, Youth, Children.

Key Points: 

The project aims to move beyond providing information and use an interactive process to engage youth and encourage them to talk more about HIV/AIDS with their peers, families, and communities. Patsimeredu Edutainment Trust believes that young people are well placed to deal with issues that affect them, including HIV/AIDS.

Partner Text: 

Patsimeredu Edutainment Trust, Southern Africa AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS).

Source: 

KIT website on June 7 2005.