The Unicef-MTV project called “SHUGA” Radio has the Cameroonian media by storm and has created alot of impact . This program that has as objective to use the media especially the radio to sensitize youths about the HIV pandemic has witness an increase of youths going for Voluntary counseling and testing services and striving to live healthily . The SHUGA radio has 12 episodes and 2 magazine programs , where in each episode revolves on the love, sex and money themes. After each episode airs over the radio, studio talks and peer discussion usually follow.
SHUGA trained youths in Cameroon in the persons of Eric Mbotiji and Desmond Nji, have been doing a beautiful job by initiating studio talks and peer discussions that arised from each SHUGA episode. The topics of discussions include prevention with positives, multiple concurrent relationships, transactional sex, relationship management, decision making in relationships and STI’s. During such spots young people participated through text messaging and calls . This program has provoked many young people to live responsibly and be encouraged to do their HIV test. Through this program, many who were HIV+ and have been living in isolation, decided to do voluntary counseling and testing in order to live positively and accept their status, thanks to SHUGA radio.
Since Eric and Desmond were trained in Nairobi-Kenya for SHUGA radio program, they took upon themselves after the training to impact the lives of their peers through the radio programs aboutb HIV , peer to peer discussion in schools, youth groups and in churches . Desmond says that he is very passionate about the program because it has enabled other young people in Cameroon to be well informed about HIV , discarded myths and encouraged many to do their test in order to know their serological status. He adds that youths are the leaders of tomorrow, and in order to prepare for leadership they must live and stay healthily . For more information about the SHUGA project, go to www. shuga.tv .
Submitted by International Youth Journalist