Breaking the Silence uses hands-on training in media literacy and peer leadership as a strategy to intervene in the spread of HIV/AIDS among youth in the Caribbean.
The mission of Breaking the Silence is to promote the pro-active participation of youth in ending the silence, stigma, and spread of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean.PROGRAM
At the heart of Breaking the Silence is a free, hands-on, intensive, out-of-school workshop series designed specifically for youth in the Caribbean. Participants in the workshop series learn the facts of HIV prevention, explore their goals, their values, and issues around self-esteem. They also apply the techniques of digital video production, practice teamwork, self-expression, and problem solving. At the culmination of the workshop series, youth participants work together to conceive, shoot, direct and edit a video of their own design. Because the Breaking the Silence video is created directly by youth, the video speaks directly to those most at-risk for contracting HIV/AIDS. Graduates of the Breaking the Silence program are trained to use their video in peer leadership presentations, spreading vital information in their communities. The targeted messages in their video also become awareness-raising tools for thousands of viewers in classrooms, health centers, television broadcast audiences, and film festivals across the globe.
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Breaking the Silence empowers youth to understand and speak out against the inequities that spread HIV/AIDS in a globalizing world -- amplifying previously unheard voices, ideas, and potential solutions in addressing the AIDS pandemic.PARTNERS
The Breaking the Silence pilot project was officially launched in St. Lucia in August 2003 as a special project of 911 Media Arts Center (Seattle, USA), the St. Lucia Planned Parenthood Association, and the St. Lucia Red Cross Society. Breaking the Silence would not exist without the collaboration and support of various local and international government agencies, non-governmental organizations, schools, businesses, and communities.
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Fundraising is underway to provide ongoing Breaking the Silence workshops to youth from underserved communities in St. Lucia. Long term plans include expanded programming throughout the Caribbean region.