ARTS FOR ACTION ACTIVATOR MODEL
Based on Tiyeni! meaning Let’s Go in Chichewa
This is a powerful interactive communications programme model providing sustained and responsive
community education and empowerment through grassroots-level theatre activities led by community based social-change actors. Our activator model combines very localised work on specific issues facing communities using interactive educational methods with broader, community-linked media messaging through national radio dramas and magazine shows.
Tiyeni! was launched in 2007 across 8 districts of rural Malawi. The programme Tiyeni! (meaning Let’s Go! in Chichewa) is a powerful interactive communications programme that provides sustained and responsive community education and empowerment through grassroots-level theatre activities led by a network of community based social-change actors, or Nanzikambe Arts Activators and community-linked media messaging through national radio dramas and magazine shows. The primary aim of Tiyeni! is to reduce to reducethe incidences and impact of HIV/AIDS in Malawi throughby enabling tangible and demonstrable community-led behaviour change in relation to the risk of infection, and issues surrounding living positively with HIV/AIDS.
The programme useds interactive educational methods to tackle potentially harmful cultural practices and attitudes, and to interrogate the power dynamics, hierarchies, beliefs and structures which underlie them.
Background to Tiyeni!
Nanzikambe launched Phase 1 of Tiyeni! in May 2007 in 24 rural communities across 8 districts of Malawi. This grew to 48 community activators, and by 2011 148 were trained in interactive research, communication and facilitation techniques.
The programme was successful in generating positive feedback from community members, village chiefs and local partners.
Workshops and performances were consistently full to capacity across all districts and clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of the approach in meaningfully engaging people and developing their capacity to address barriers to behaviour change.
‘…these things [in the play] are really happening here, there is no difference … we will all be
discussing these issues from here up until tomorrow…the men will also be interested to
discuss…’ Workshop participant and community member from Thiokol
In partnership with USAID programmes: Malawi Bridge II and PACT Malawi // PSI EBI Prev, GIZ, Trocaire and MSF more than 85,000 people were reached in Southern and Central regions, through participation in community performances and carefully targeted workshops. Positive change was documented from community members, village chiefs and local partners.