Monday, March 22, 2010

Stay Alive Competition

The 2nd Annual Stay Alive Day was held Friday March 19th at Vutakaka Clinic and Nursery School site. Students from Takaungu Primary, Vuma Primary, Mkwajuni Primary, Vutakaka Junior School and Kazinuni Primary came to compete for the Stay Alive trophy.

Starting in 2008, the EAC’s health education program began to focus heavily on HIV/AIDS awareness and education. We use the PEPFAR “Stay Alive” curriculum, an abstinence program for children aged 9-14 years. We are now running this program in 5 different local schools, holding one session at each school each week. There are currently more than 500 local students attending the program.

At the EAC, we recognize how important it is to organize and host events such as these. Not only do they provide an opportunity for students from several local schools to come together, have fun, and share what they have learned, but we are also strengthening our connections and support of the public school system.

Last year, students from Takaungu Primary School took home the top prize, and held the trophy for the year. This year we were joined by Kazinuni Primary school, where the EAC health education cirriculum was introduced in January by Mary Canada, a Peace Corps volunteer stationed in Kazinuni.

The day began with music provided by Big Bounce Sound as all the children and their teachers began arriving. The students had been told to prepare one poem, skit, and drama each. Because they had only started health education in January, Kazinuni only had time to prepare a skit, and would not be in the running for the top prize. The judge for the day was Vutakaka Junior School teacher Omar Kazungu. He promised to be fair and unbiased.

The first performances were the poems. Vutakaka Junior School and Mkwajuni Primary gave fantasic performances, followed by solo poems from Vuma and Takaungu students. Next came the songs. These ranged from a rap song performed by Vutakaka Junior School to traditional dancing by Mkwajuni and Vuma.

The last segement was the skits. Vutakaka started with a hilarious skit the students had previously performed for a big crowd at World AIDS Day in Chonyi. Kazinuni was second, and performed a very informative skit, with wonderful performances by the younger actors. Mohamed Said, the EAC health education instructor, was very impressed with the amount of information Kazinuni students had learned in such a short time. The skits from Takaungu, Vuma, and Mkwajuni were equally well prepared.

After more music from the DJ, Omar was ready to announce the results. Best poem went to Mkwajuni school, best song and skit went to Vutakaka Junior School, and best overall performer went to Phillip from Kazinuni which resulted in huge cheers for the newcomers.

The winning school for the day was Vutakaka Junior School - the Vutakaka students and their health education teacher, Saade Abdallah were pleased when they heard the announcement! The students all began the trips home to their respective schools.

We at the East African Center are proud of the students' accomplishment and look forward to hosted next year's competition!

-Kate Crowley
Kenya Program Director