Sifiso describes himself as hard working, a characteristic he gets from his father. Shortly after Sifiso’s twelfth birthday, his father died of TB. When his father’s family blamed Sifiso’s mother for the death, she was forced to move away. In a spiral of grief, sadness, and loneliness, Sifiso focused on surviving for the next six years. His story is one of a lost childhood, and the gift of a second chance after moving to a new community.
Key points to consider in viewing Sifiso’s story
When children lose a parent to illness, they are placed at increased risk of poverty, violence, and HIV exposure. In Sifiso’s case, he lost both parents: one to illness and one to a family’s need to blame the loss on another person. In situations like these, young people often children suffer the most. As you view Sifiso’s story, think about what adults can do to care for and protect children when parents die, including what role local government agencies should play.
Sonke works with many communities to use storytelling and digital media to help people tell their own stories around gender, violence, HIV and AIDS and related issues.
Sonke partnered with Silence Speaks to enable young people and adults affected by violence and HIV and AIDS to share their stories. Other digital stories have been produced with former prisoners who experienced sexual violence in jail. And the MenEngage African Youth Alliance and Sonke partnered with UNFPA to produce “Youth Stories of Change” along with a discussion guide and other resources.
Through intensive, participatory video production workshops, Sonke is bringing rarely-heard voices and images into the civic arena. Our hope is that by highlighting everyday stories, we will deepen existing conversations about gender norms and health issues, as well as empower the storytellers and their communities.
Click here to download a facilitator’s guide, discussion guides and other Digital Stories resources to assist in the use of these tools in your community.