Projects Awarded

The GoMAD AID Awareness Project

General support, through conversation and donations, for orphans, street children, families and slums who have all been affected by AIDS. Also includes 'theater of the Opressed' which opens up discussion about the epidemic.

— Details at a glance
Project Title The GoMAD AID Awareness Project
Year 2003
Location Nairobi
Country Kenya
Genre AIDS Awareness & Education
Lead Name(s) Ruth Wangechi Wang'Ondu (Shesh), Phoebe Ferris-Rotman & Siobhan McGuirk
Other Organisations Community Outreach Empowerment of Youth

Project details:

Siobhan McGuirk, Phoebe Ferris-Rotman and Ruth (Shesh) Wangechi Wang'ondu worked on a project that aimed to encourage dialogue about HIV/AIDS infection, prevention and stigmatization in Kenya – where there are 1.6 million people living with HIV (source: They organised Theatre in Education (TIE) workshops in high schools and provided health education to a women's empowerment organisation.

Siobhan and Phoebe held TIE workshops in eight high schools across Nairobi. Using methods learned in their Theatre Arts IB class, they designed sessions that allowed the students to lead discussions on HIV/AIDS in a safe and open environment. In Kiambio, a village outside of Nairobi, Shesh led health education classes to inform local women about infection prevention. The classes soon extended to other areas of concern, such as safe cooking and hygiene practices.

The project had a profound and lasting effect on Siobhan, Phoebe and Shesh. Years later, all three UWC alumni continue to work with causes that are closely related to their work in Kenya. Siobhan has pursued a PhD in Anthropology and has carried out fieldwork with LGBT asylum seekers from sub-Saharan Africa in the USA. Phoebe works in theatre, with an emphasis on community engagement, while Shesh has pursued a PhD with thesis on HIV/AIDS prevention research.

Post-project comments:

Wider discussion on poverty and harm reduction, safe cooking and hygiene practices were carried out although not originally intended.

What they said:

The GoMAD Kenya 2003 project has a profound and lasting impact on all three of use, which is reflect through our work a decade on.

— Ruth Wangechi Wang'Ondu (Shesh), Phoebe Ferris-Rotman & Siobhan McGuirk