The project was originally initiated to engage learners at various high schools around the country in raising awareness about HIV/Aids. Schools are invited to create artworks that portray social challenges, and the most outstanding contributions are displayed in the NUST library, a public space that is visible to the university community and the thousands of public members who make use of the facility.
This year’s theme was ‘HIV/Aids and Gender Based Violence,’ a topic that has taken centre stage in the Namibian society. St Paul’s presented paintings that told the story of a victim of domestic violence who used her ordeal to empower other women in her community by opening a counselling and testing centre.
According to recent Namibian Police statistics, a staggering 10 000 cases of Gender Based Violence were reported in the past three years across the country, with rape amongst the most common offences.
Student Counsellor and HIV/AIDS Coordinator, Alleta McNally, says research has shown that it is impossible to talk about HIV/Aids without mentioning sexual violence which can result in women being infected with the virus.
“It has become clear that the HIV/Aids pandemic poses particular challenges for women, thus NUST has chosen to reach young people through innovative ways that are proving to be successful in spreading the message,” McNally said.