International AIDS candlelight Memorial (IACM

Today we, together with many volunteers who host memorials worldwide for their communities commemorate the International AIDS candlelight Memorial (IACM). The IACM occurs on the 3rd Sunday of May. The memorial was started by people living with AIDS concurrently in San-Francisco and New York 1993 and it meant to honor all those who have been affected by the AIDS pandemic. As HIV/AIDS continue to impact communities around the world, the candlelight has become a way for communities to take action by publicly mourning their loved ones lost to AIDS and by strengthening local, national and international commitments to lighting the candle.
As MR. RED RIBBON KENYA, that is a symbol of solidarity of people living with AIDS, and as the coordinator of Badili Mawazo Self Help Group, I take this moment to share my sorrow, remember and honor my brothers, sisters and children who battled and lost the light against AIDS.
In Nakuru Kenya, this day was presided over by the Bishop of Nakuru Catholic Diocese, Bishop Maurice Muhatia of Holy-Cross Catholic Parish where volunteers and members of the neighboring community walked in with over 40 pieces of art with awareness messages, prevention management of HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination.

The candlelight memorial is committed to ending HIV/AIDS by raising awareness and advocating for the advancement of effective policies at all level
The program has identified the following key issues areas, as its platforms around which it cultivates community advocacy through its events and activities.

Communities around the world affected by HIV/AIDS pandemic, particularly people living with the disease and other marginalized groups often face debilitating social stigma and discrimination simply because of their association with the virus, I, MR. RED RIBBON KENYA, and the candlelight memorial urge leaders to light discrimination through protecting the Rights of affected groups and individuals and fostering an inclusive human environment of both support and opportunity.

Poor or marginalized communities have little access to basic HIV/AIDS services, I, MR. RED RIBBON KENYA, and the candlelight memorial urges leaders to ensure communities have equal access to treatment (such as testing and anti-retroviral therapy), evidence based prevention (such as education) and care and support (such as counseling and hospice). This requires meeting the needs of the orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), strengthening public health systems and vaccines development.

The need for communities affected by HIV/AIDS, by far, outpace the current resources allocated to meet them, I, MR. RED RIBBON KENYA, and the candlelight memorial urges leaders to fulfill their commitment to adequately address the scope and depth of AIDS including other burdens accompanying or enhancing its spread (such as T.B, Malaria, sexually transmitted diseases and opportunistic infections) and other contributing social and economic challenges.

Affected communities by HIV/AIDS are often neglected in the decision making processes that aim to assist them in the first place, I, MR. RED RIBBON KENYA, and the candlelight memorial urges leaders to incorporate the voices of the affected communities in formulation of policies as well as in the design and implementation of programs, their experiences and opinions are essential to the Global dialogue about the disease and this includes promoting the empowerment of women and youth. And as per the theme: MANY LIGHTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, dear world, I have faith that together we are the solution.
THANKS IN ADVANCE for your cooperation.



Hallo World this is a message from Mr. Red Ribbon – Kenya 2009/2010.

Mr Red Ribbon
Mr. Okola (Mr. Red Ribbon

World TB Day is an international event commemorated on the 24th March each year worldwide. This is an occasion where all organizations working in the field of TB. HIV/ AIDS comes together to share the challenges that do still face T.B and HIV/AIDS.

In Kenya this event was held in Nakuru the Headquarters of Rift Valle Province. Rift Valley is ranked number one in T.B infections followed closely by Nyanza Province. It is believed that T.B has been around since the beginning of mankind due to airborne transmission of transmission of droplet nuclear with T.B bacteria.

Mr. Red Ribbon
World TB Day

Dispute being curable in the vast majority of cases T.B is the leading cause of sickness and death among PLWHA. And my view at this point is that , donors and health programs that fail to address T.B as part of HIV/AIDS services do miss the opportunity to impact the disease and most likely to kill PLWHA in developing countries around the world.

Mr Red Ribbon during the World TB Day

Responding to the threat posted by T.B , HIV co-infection requires integrate service delivery and co-ordination between T.B and HIV programs to endemic countries. However evening countries with high burden of disease, T.B and HIV programs have tended to operate independently addressing T.B and HIV in isolation and this paving way for STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION. So my humble request to the whole world is that, “ Let each and every person go for both T.B and HIV screening….”. and here I do shout a loud voice and you should also assist me to “STOP” Stigmatizing and Discriminating those who have Tested Positive. Let us live in LOVE and harmony giving each other HOPE for we all belong to one GOD.

ENOCK GEKARA – Community Member Free Area

There before when they used to sing here at this center I took them as jokers but my friends who attended their activity told me that they were now informed. During their next visit to our area I got informed about the danger of having many sexual partners and that it was risky. I do take alcohol with my friends and sometimes we have even shared the same woman at night after our drinking at the bars here. Condom is something I think was for coward men and condom is not something I usually use all the time it depends on who am sleeping with, if it is someone I know and they don’t ask me to use it so I do not. I have a wife who comes and goes because of family trouble and I am forced to look for women here who are easy. I was informed through the acting by the actors about the risks and signs of sexual transmitted diseases in their drama, people of the community talked with them and I also got the information about syphilis and gonorrhea. I was told by one of them how I can protect myself from it and what to do when I am infected. I have not had syphilis or gonorrhea and I am lucky. When the again came here they acted about alcohol and risk of getting infected when someone is drank and I felt they were talking to me alone. I together with some friends was shown how to use condoms correctly.

My life has change I now have no fear of anything because I was give condoms to use and I have gone for VCT two times now. The second time I went with my wife to VCT so that she can know that I am ok because she has found me before with another woman and now she is happy. Before we could fight at night because she wanted me to use a condom but I did not want and that is why she leaves. We have also attended a community show with her to show her where I have got the information.

It is now ok for me to drink a little and go home, I see the friends of mine do that every day and they say that the actors have help them live a responsible life now. I have also told one friend of mine to go to hospital to see a doctor about the pain he has under there because it could a sexual one.

Today I am careful and want to take care of my family because of the danger I know from the teachings of the actors.


I was approached by Mr. Collins Oduor and Mr. Christopher Alaro from REPACTED – Kenya who informed me of the need and importance of me becoming a peer educator. I was reluctant, but having told me about the people visiting my barber shop and I would be in a better position to inform them about health related issues, I did agree on being trained, and also me being one of the members of this community who are extremely lacking in knowledge about HIV/AIDs. During the training I was informed on modes of STI’s/STD’s, HIV/AIDS transmission and also TB and felt that I also was at risk. Looking at my life style (I do have a wife and a girlfriend who I am not sure whether she has a man of her own) and my peers in my community I was compelled to even go for VCT which was conducted during the training. I now attend VCT clinic in my area since every 3 months. With my wife I would not use condoms during sexual intercourse because she would suspect me for being unfaithful, but with my girl friend I could use condoms sometime to avoid her getting pregnant during her bad days, I got it from this training that this was a risky behavior and would have to change in order to be safe and save my family too.

During the start of my work as a peer educator, I did engage my clients and other youth who pass by to read the newspapers since I buy them on a regular basis in conversations on STI’s/STD’s and HIV/AIDS prevention. Many were reluctant to use condoms as a way of prevention due to their knowledge that condoms had holes in them; some felt that they would rather use two condoms at the same time with a person they felt was not safe enough. Having shared this and using the information I took from the training I was able to convince them on proper use of condoms and ways of disposing them. VCT was a no go zone for most of them because they were afraid that it could be the end of their lives and if people in the community would know that they were positive they would be rejected. I told them that knowing one’s status would encourage them to live a better life by being careful. During a VCT conducted in Free Area AIC church I informed them about it and I was accompanied by six members of the community to get tested. Thereafter I have received several calls from them asking me to get those condoms and I have also asked REPACTED – Kenya to get me a condom dispenser which I have put in my kinyozi where they can easily collect them.

I have one of my clients who though he was HIV positive but later told me after visiting VCT that he was not but was asked to visit Provincial General Hospital to get checked for TB which he was found to have and is currently under medication.

WAD wrap up


According to the results from the KAIS (Kenya AIDS Indicators Survey 2007) report 7.4 percent of Kenyan adults age 15-64 are infected with the HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. According to the survey more than 1.4 million Kenyans are living with HIV and AIDS. 36% of Kenyan adults ages 15-64 have tested at least once for HIV and have received the results; nearly two thirds reported never having tested for HIV and are therefore unaware of their HIV status. 80% of all HIV positive adults have no idea that they are infected while 77% of Kenyan adults in all partnerships do not know their partners status. With the current changing trends in HIV infection there is great need for one know his/her HIV status.

To honor the theme of this year’s World AIDS Day “Universal Access and Human Rights” REPACTED in partnership with the Nakuru GK Prisons kicked off build up activities by organizing four days of free HIV Counseling and testing targeting the inmates, officers and their families and the surrounding community at the Nakuru GK prison. Prisoners are people too therefore it is a human right to access reproductive health information including information on HIV and AIDS. REPACTED visited the Male and female prisons, twice (over the first three days) and this time went a step further by staging an outreach at the wardens living quarters on the final day.


Bureaucracy had been a major hindrance to REPACTED’s access to the male prison mostly due to reasons and occurrences from the past and other places within the prisons department as a whole. This hurdle was finally surpassed and REPACTED was able to stage a comprehensive outreach on the 26th of November 2009 to encourage the prisoners and the wardens to go for the HIV counseling testing services sourced and made available by REPACTED and the Prisons department. At the first call for the inmates to be tested, someone in the crowd shouted “Hiyo ni ya wagonjwa” meaning that is for the sick. This was quickly responded to from within the audience itself during the post performance discussion with the conclusion downplaying the comment.

REPACTED’s magnet outreaches in the prison have developed into Talent Arena for the inmates who are welcome to present their skits and comedies including music. They get to develop prevention messages and present them through these various means to their fellow inmates. In the women’s prison inmates group themselves and even take time to rehearse their pieces capturing the theme of the day and targeting the woman and their lives at home in caring for their family. It is quite clear that they have learnt to empower each other and nurture their talents that they have within them as they prepare to go back to their homes and families. As they perform, they elicit discussions and comments surrounding risky behavior among the inmates, their status, effects and consequences including the risk they may put to their family members when they are released. They feel honored to see REPACTED members watching their various presentations as they do their best to outdo them. It has proved to be quite effective telling by the numbers achieved at the end of the four day initiative.


At the staff quarters REPACTED noted the various challenges that the wardens are faced with because of working away from their homes. Also there is stigma around the wardens and surrounding community’s perception on people going to get tested. According to some of them being seen by the community going for testing gave people the idea that they might be indulging in immoral behavior and thereby a small number turned up for the testing in the day but large numbers came for the same service during the moonlight activity.

By the world aids day the VCT councilors had managed to test about a total of 1214 inmates, officers and their family members.

On 28th of November the Nakuru town headed for Bontana Hotel for the Mr. and Miss red ribbon pageant. The event was organized jointly by Repacted Kenya assisted by Voice of Roses and the National Aids Control Council. Its participants were drawn from different community based organizations, indiscriminate of their status, background and age. The participants took up to three weeks preparing for the event and undergoing peer education training and care of the HIV/AIDS infected. When the participants finally took to the runway over the blue waters of the Bontana swimming pool it was nothing but colorful, not only in the dressing that they put on in line with their understanding of the course of the Mr. and miss red ribbon. The event attracted more than 1000 youths and young at heart within Nakuru town.

There were performances by groups such as the V.O.R dancers, comedies by the unique theatre, REPACTED’s Sawwa dancers & MC Jex among others. The M.Cs of the day Michael Kamunya (Playmaker group) and Collins Denis Oduor (Repacted Kenya) kept the audience on their feet.

The guest speaker of the day Miss Maureen Anyango gave a testimony of her life with HIV/AIDS since her infection at eighteen years of age, the discovery, her denial and her eventual acceptance of her status and the various challenges she faced from the community. She called out for people to get tested in order to discover their status and take appropriate steps to protect themselves. At the end of the event, Peter Okola and Mary Nyokabi were crowned Mr. and Miss Red Ribbon amidst screams, cheers and applause by the audience.


On 1 December REPACTED members joined the rest of the residents of Nakuru in a procession from the Rift Valley provincial office and went through the town mobilizing the members of the community to participate in this annual celebration of the fight of against HIV and AIDS. The procession which was led by the Salvation Army band included prison officers, the scouts, and various youth groups within the town such as FHOK, Genesis arts group, rescue reforms and Matatu association.

The Nyayo Gardens was the day’s platform of performance and speeches as the various groups took part in promoting the theme of the day as it echoed the call for universal access and human rights. Various stands were erected to explain to people of the various activities carried out by the organizations such as Red Cross Kenya, St Trizza, an orphan school in Nakuru town and the vct stand which was the focal point of our crusade as it also explained to people the importance of testing as well as breaking the stigma surrounding VCT. The V.C.T. tents were busy with long queues as people were eager to know there status.


It was also noted by Mr. Obi Obiero that the youth and children in community remain at risk in the community and needed be looked upon. he said glue being sold to the street children was affecting their decision making in the society and thereby indulging in risky behaviors that may lead to HIV/AIDS infections. The same was also echoed by the KANCO coordinator as he called intervention by the administration government to help stop the clubs that were allowing students under age into their premises and there by indulging in alcohol drinking and putting them at risk of infection.

At the end of day it was a successful event that attracted more than 2500 people to the grounds and tested more than 700 people.



In our prisons visits over the last three years we have come across several challenges, both administrative and resource based. It has come to our attention that, prison staffs, prisoners and the surrounding communities are placed at risk of HIV infection, TB and other opportunistic infections due to several predisposing factors.

Some prison staff, due to disposable income and the availability of local liquor in the surrounding communities (London, Hilton), engage in binge drinking that leads to risky sexual encounters in the form of transactional sex and regular community based sex work with women in low income settings. Some of the prison staff have come to develop extra-marital relationships with members of the surrounding community because of the condition and nature of work that leads them to be away from their spouses and family in terms of transfers and shift changes.


According to the Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey findings 2007, ¾ of men and ½ of women have had more than one sexual partner in their lifetime. 12% and 2% of men and women respectively have had more than 2 sexual partners in the last 12 months. Compared to year 2003, more Kenyans have been tested for HIV; however, about 2/3 of adults have never been tested. 50% of those who do not test perceive themselves at low risk while 84% of those who test positive are unaware of their sero-status.

The Kenya Prisons Service HIV/AIDS policy points out that gender disparity, biological, socio-cultural, economic and segregational circumstances affect men and women differently which leads those who are averse, to engage in transactional sex with their colleagues. Such behavior leads to STI infection. Despite there being an operational health facility situated in the prison, there is low uptake of medical services due to fear associated with stigma and lack of confidentiality yet The Kenya Prisons Service HIV/AIDS policy spells out clearly issues of treatment, stigma, discrimination and confidentiality among its guiding principles. Though there was a positive response towards Counseling and testing during previous theatre outreaches in the Nakuru GK prison there was a drop in numbers tested when REPACTED took a break from outreach activities to develop a comprehensive strategy. Those who know their status and those of their spouses are still relatively few compared to those who do not.


Inmates/prisoners face different challenges compared to the staff and the communities outside. They are confined within prison walls and are not likely to encounter risk in the same context. Prisoners face a similar problem as the others in terms of lack of current information on changing trends on HIV/AIDS and other opportunistic infections, relationships between male circumcision (uncircumcised men are three times more likely to be infected with HIV(13.2%) than circumcised (3.9%) : KAIS 2007), TB, Malaria, HSV-2 and syphilis co-infection with HIV. Their living conditions are not conducive for people living with HIV/AIDS, where access to ARVs, ART and psycho-social support is either restricted or non existent altogether. Prisoners living with HIV/AIDS face a lot of discrimination and stigma because of their skin condition (Kaposi’s sarcoma) or TB symptoms like persistent coughing. Counseling and testing is viewed favorably by the inmates and they turn up in numbers for the test but our target of 90% tested has remained elusive to date. It is also important to impart skills in prevention including abstaining, being faithful and correct and consistent usage of condoms in preparation for the prisoners’ eventual release back into society where they are bound to face the same challenges as those in the surrounding community.



REPACTED is a community based organization registered under the Ministry of Gender, Culture, Sports, and Social Services under the Department of Culture in 2001.


REPACTED's mission is to define ourselves, shape our experiences, identify our strengths, tackle our challenges and celebrate our successes. REPACTED is composed of highly qualified youth and community volunteers who form a multi-disciplinary team encompassing the field of behavior change communication. REPACTED was formed in the year 2001 by youth theatre artists from the Nakuru Players Theatre Club within the Impact Project of the Family Health International (FHI) under the technical assistance of the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health-Kenya (PATH- Kenya). The youth thespians formed the organization with an aim of improving their community by encouraging people to make informed decisions and to involve them in community development. They achieve this by volunteering their theatrical skills and talents in participatory theatre activities, awareness campaigns peer education and counseling.


REPACTED seeks to address a range of youth development issues directly associated with HIV/AIDS and STIs, sexuality, Life Skills, gender issues, relationships and reproductive health. Activities that improve knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behavior are organized in a range of settings: from learning institutions to communities and special circumstance institutions (like prisons, juvenile facilities, and schools for persons with disabilities).

REPACTED programs target youth between the ages of 15 – 24 as partners, allies, and agents of change, and support youth-adult partnerships. REPACTED's work is unique in that it involves the community in coming up with solutions to the issues they face. We do this through the use of community theatre, in a method better known as “Magnet Theatre”. This method starts with tailor made community folk media mobilization techniques that pulls the audience to the magnet theatre site and enlists the audience in an active interactive discussion through a scripted performance designed to provoke the target audience’s feelings, attitudes and beliefs with an aim of inspiring positive behavior change.


In order to come up with quality Magnet theatre presentations, REPACTED engages key persons from the target population in forums aimed at identifying current risky behavior, desired behavior and obstacles to adopting the desired behavior. Guided by behavior change theories, like Diffusion of innovation, Health belief theory and Social learning theory, the target audience explore behavior change objectives, communication objectives and identify channels of communication that are effective affordable and acceptable to the community at large.


REPACTED has conducted 2019 interactive community theatre outreaches since 2001 to present day. Currently we are APHIA II, Rift Valley’s local implementing partner in the Informal Sector workplace program covering four districts targeting Salons, Kinyozis (barber shops), Garage and car wash workers (mechanics) and security guards with messages promoting healthy behavior through Magnet theatre and Peer education. Also under APHIA II, Rift Valley, REPACTED successfully conducted Magnet Theatre outreaches and peer education sessions targeting youth out of school messages to influence uptake of Reproductive Health services and Voluntary Counseling and testing. Since 2006, for the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru, REPACTED is conducting civic education outreaches aimed at addressing issues of gender based violence, democracy, constitutionalism and leadership under the Uraia project. Since 2005 REPACTED has been conducting theatre for development outreaches in the Adventist Relief and Development Agency, Abstinence and Behavior change for the youth project in two districts. REPACTED is a MTV Staying Alive Foundation two time award winner, the award is aimed at reaching youth in the Community, special learning institutions and Prisons with Magnet Theatre Outreaches and mobile VCT. Citizens’ Media Outreach is a project involving the community in video and photo blogging inclusive of basic computer skills. Funded by Rising global Voices, the project involves the training of community members in the use of information and communication technologies.

Since its inception the organization has trained 120 Peer educators and 50 Magnet theatre practitioners within different settings, like Nakuru GK prison inmates, both male and female, community youth and workers in the informal sector. They were successfully taken through the APHIA II, Rift Valley comprehensive curriculum on Peer education and the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH-Kenya) manual for Magnet theatre. The prison based training was fully funded by MTV Staying Alive foundation. Rising Global Voices supported Community Capacity building on digital media.
REPACTED has a cadre experienced trainers in the field of experiential community education concerns. These trainers have been involved in both local and international trainings and capacity building in different programs as consultants and technical assistants. Within the APHIA II, Rift Valley project they have been involved in training of members of the Most At Risk Population (police force, sex workers, women in low income settings, community youth, religious leaders and teachers), training of teachers (scout leaders) in Kenya and Uganda under PATH–Kenya, training community members in Civic education through Community theatre under the Catholic Justice and Peace commission.

Moving On

For long REPACTED has been working with the youths in the community, passing messages of behaviour change and encouraging them in doing so by having them join the organization and also moving forwad with life we are entring a new chapter as an organization where we would like you to support as we want to ensure that the sam young people improve there livelyhoods by encouraging them to be able to generate income on there won whil we support them one of them is Eric Wanyama who has always aspired to be a script and film director he has managed to write his own script and will be soon shooting the film he has fundaraised some capital but needs more support i encourage you to visit his blog and encurage him on the blogroll of this email he is there also. The last time he posted was 7th of April but i have encouraged him to post and hoping he will be posting more frequently as we have given him priority this week to use the office internet. Support a young kenyan to grow.
Also REPACTED is looking for a wllwisher to help clear $250 internet bill for the remeinder of the year as we are stretched at the moment.

Computer Aid International

REPACTED has been awarded 25 computers from computer AID Internation in UK and all the computers are Pentium Fours fully installed and with Cables, we are planning to use this computers to start a digital center in Nakuru and enhance the use of online tools by young people we ae fundraising around 2080 Sterling Pounds for shipping them to Kenya we will appreciate any help given.

Kind Regards



The organization carried out activities as planned by the organization staff and volunteers. The activities included carrying out magnet theatre outreaches with mobile VCT in the community and the prisons, Mobile educative video shows at the community video dens, Training of more change agents and educators both in the prisons and at the community level, Production of the Jukwaa la Vijana news letter, organizing skills demonstration forums, Organizing youth symposium and condom distribution, open mic festivals. Apart from the above planned activities individual organization volunteers did outreaches at their backyard to reach out to the target audience effectively and efficiently.

The activities have not changed despite some adjustment like to increase the number of community theatre outreaches with VCT and reduce production of the copies of the news letter. To ensure quality in the trainings the organization adopted local and international training manuals for skills and capacity building trainings.


The project gets technical assistance from a group of young professionals referred as research and innovation committee. Their work is to come up with innovative participatory and result oriented strategies to reach out the youth effectively and consistently with behavior change communication with an aim of influencing positive behavior among the youth.

One of the innovative ideas is the open mic competition. It is a simple concept, rappers compete against each other by drawing topics from a hat and composing a one minute rap on the spot (free style) on the topic they pick. The victor is determined by how many correct facts about the topic he/she can deliver within the time allocated to him/her. There were four main topics, STIs, HIV/AIDS, Stigma and Correct consistent use of condoms. There were seven preliminary rounds, each at different housing estates in the area. The level of competition was high and it improved significantly after the two day training on message development the participants underwent before the final event. The crowd at the venue was impressive and the community response, overwhelming. Consistency will ensure the event continues to grow both in reach, popularity and achievement.

Numbers reached:
Male: 3314
Female: 3377
Total: 6691

The inaugural Miss High school beauty pageant was held at Langa Langa High school Hall. It targeted youth in school with messages aiming to increase risk awareness in relation to HIV/AIDS. It provided a platform for up and coming artistes, most in the Open mic competition, to showcase their talent and pre test their positive message songs.
The contestants were enthusiastic and the audience that turned up was indiscriminately supportive of their efforts.


Weekly workshops on Blogging are on going as people tackle issues on the society, HIV and comical fiction. Most of our peer educators are on face book. We are also thinking of starting a discussion forum on the REPACTED’s group page on Face book aimed at sparking debates on a range of issues facing the youth in Kenya. Due to increase number of young people interested in the idea of Blogging, we go the cyber café for the workshops. You read the individual bloggs;

More activities are under way including the annual POA Youth Music Arts Awards, we are planning to reach to reach more than 10,000 young people in Nakuru and test 1000 young people. The aim of the festival is to appreciate the power of youth driven HIV and AIDS behavior change communication through creative arts.