Through Soul City, BP has been focusing its efforts on HIV/ Aids education in order to help the fight against this scourge.
The Soul City Institute is a multimedia project for social, health and development communication that aims to improve the health and quality of life of communities across Africa through television and radio drama, supported by print materials, advocacy and social mobilisation. The programme operates in approximately ten African countries.
In about 15 years of partnership with Soul City, BP has invested over R30m in the multimedia programme, focusing on education and awareness targeting 16 to 35 year olds.
Following its success in South Africa, the programme has now been rolled out to six more countries, namely Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Swaziland – increasing its reach to over 25 million people.
Soul City drives its message through print and electronic media. The initiative consists of six TV and radio drama series and 15 information booklets, of which more than 17 million copies have been distributed. A second multimedia programme for children, called Soul Buddyz, has also been developed.
The programme’s effectiveness stems from dealing with dilemmas in the daily lives of ordinary people. Topics that are discussed range from violence against women and personal finances to sexual harassment and HIV/ Aids. Information and advice is provided through drama and entertainment, which stimulates debate and empowers people and communities to make healthy choices.