Ewch i’r prif gynnwys

Gwella addysg a chefnogaeth HIV/Aids drwy ysgrifennu comics.

Gweithdai mewn arlunio comics yn yr Academi Whizzkids United yn KwaZulu-Natal, De'r Affrig.

Whizz kids Lola's story
Comic strip drawn by a teenager at a Whizzkids United youth development workshop.

Mae gan dros 5.6m o bobl yn Ne Affrica HIV/AIDS, gyda'r cyffredinrwydd uchaf wedi ei recordio yn KwaZulu-Natal (39.5% o oedolion, yn ôl UNAIDS yn 2009).

Cafodd nifer o blant yn eu harddegau eu geni gyda HIV/AIDS. Oherwydd tabŵs sy'n atal trafodaeth, caiff plant eu hamddifadu o wybodaeth glir am y risgiau ac am ffyrdd i'w atal, er bod nifer yn ymwneud â rhyw o oedran ifanc.

Cysylltodd Marcus McGilvray, sylfaenydd Whizzkids United, â Phrifysgol Caerdydd am gymorth gyda chyfathrebu negeseuon ac annog plant yn eu harddegau i ymweld â'u Hacademi Iechyd.

Using visual storytelling

Rhaglen estyn allan i ieuentcid gan elusen o'r DU, Africaid, yw Whizzkids United. Gan ddefnyddio pê droed fel trosiad am fywyd, mae'r cwrs chwe wythnos On the Ball yn addysgu'r plant am sgiliau bywyd ac atal HIV.

The Cardiff team found that some of the images used in teaching materials were not well-targeted to the teenagers. This raised the question of how comics (Dr Elisabeth El Refaie’s research specialism) might be used instead.

Dr El Refaie proposed to McGilvray that the teenagers might draw their own illustrations for On the Ball. A comic drawing competition was arranged and from this the idea of a comic drawing workshop as an alternative to football was developed. Dedicated workshops would teach participants to create original stories in the comics format.

The first aim was to empower the young people to express their feelings and concerns. The second aim was to produce comics for distribution, reflecting the teenagers’ own perspectives on HIV/AIDS and thus appealing to other local youngsters, as well as providing a way of promoting the services of the Health Academy.

A new way of 'writing'

El Refaie's research shows how autobiographical comics can give disadvantaged teenagers a means of expressing emotions and ideas that would be difficult to express in written prose or in speech.

Improving health and quality of life

Workshops were initially held at the Health Academy but were so popular that schools asked them to run them in their Life Orientations classes, increasing the reach by 75%.

The workshops have made an impact on the health and quality of life of teenagers with, or at grave risk of, HIV. The activities have affected their attitude, awareness and behaviour, and make a major contribution to Whizzkid United’s work in creating new opportunities for empowerment and a positive future.

There was a clear impact on the teenagers. The teams composed of only HIV+ participants were soon sharing their feelings and experiences, particularly how they feared disclosing their status, in case the others ostracised them. The staff had not anticipated the power of the experience, nor the extent to which they would for the first time gain access to such deep levels of disclosure.

Staff learnt that the most significant concern for HIV+ teenagers is isolation and fear of rejection, and not knowing whom they can trust. As a direct result of the workshops, the Health Academy will develop new programmes that create opportunities for HIV+ teenagers to talk to each other and work together.

Staff also came to understand better why teenagers sometimes fail to take their antiretroviral medication: not only does it stigmatise them, but many, taking it from childhood, had never been told what it was for (and did not know they were HIV+.


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This research was made possible through our close partnership with and support from: