Local Resource Mobilisation Through the Media
Little attention is paid to the rural areas engaged in agriculture, a fact true for both government agencies and non-governmental organisations. Victims far away from the centre live in desperate situations. Most of these victims are tired of research conducted in their respective areas that subsequently provides them with little assistance after the researchers have collected the required information regarding this killer disease.
In response to this, Independent Television (ITV), a division of IPP Media, launched the Ukimwi Ni Huu Project aiming to:
* create awareness among government authorities at various levels, NGOs and the society as a whole of the gravity of the HIV/AIDS problem;
* sensitise Tanzanians to feel obligated to provide necessary care and support to unfortunate and disadvantaged fellow citizens; and
* arouse and stimulate positive public response (in terms of financial and non-financial support) to reduce the suffering of HIV/AIDS victims.
ITV visited some regions in the country, collecting and documenting information on the HIV/AIDS situation and its effects on the population. The programme targeted all HIV/AIDS victims including the infected, AIDS orphans and orphan caretakers (in most cases, either very old or very young).
The results of the study were made into a series of TV programmes that have been shown on ITV. The programmes showed the real living conditions of the victims, including poor housing and sanitation, scarcity of health services, poor nutrition, and many others. The pictures they showed demonstrated the real poverty situation in which the people live.
Programme producer Betty Mkwasa appealed to the government, NGOs and the public at large to do something about the situation facing the HIV/AIDS victims, especially orphaned children.
“Seeing is believing,” so the saying goes. The TV programmes touched the hearts of most viewers and created sympathy for the victims and the orphans. This resulted in a considerable public response. People donated food, clothes and other items to the TV company.