Art is an effective tool capable of transferring knowledge, creating memories, inspiring, activating and sustaining healthy behaviors. Targeting men, women, and youth, the Accelerate program appreciates art as a tool that can easily influence the adoption of healthy behaviors and practices. The Accelerate program supported this year’s Heart 4 Art Festival and Awards Event, an annual event organized by Declares Group Kenya, a non-profit, non-partisan community-based organization based in West Pokot County that seeks to enhance the effective participation and involvement of youth on gender and development issues.
The event was held on Saturday, February 2nd at Kapenguria Polytechnic. During this year’s edition, the Accelerate program supported the group in integrating the provision of health services like SRH services, in addition to sensitizing the attendees on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Gender-Based Violence, including harmful traditional practices.
The event gave young people a chance to show off their skills and influence behavior change through art. Performers incorporated SRHR and GBV messages into their music, poetry, and drama in order to encourage their peers to adopt healthy behaviors, speak out against gender violence, and be agents of change in their communities.
The Accelerate program is funded by DANIDA and seeks to ensure there is access to quality sexual and reproductive health services (SRHR), prevention and management of gender-based violence (GBV), and a reduction in harmful traditional practices (HTPs) in West Pokot County. The program is implemented in a consortium led by Population Services Kenya (PS Kenya) in partnership with the Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) and Population Services International (PSI).