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(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Caribbean Community Secretariat is organising a series of youth workshops, using the Visual and Performing Arts as a means of empowering young people in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

The ultimate objective of this series of workshops is to engage and involve youth across the Region in developing a sustainable regional response to HIV and AIDS as well as other social problems related to HIV and AIDS.

Organised in partnership with the Trinidad Youth Council and facilitated by the BARCAM, the first in the series of workshops will be conducted in Nassau, The Bahamas, starting Thursday, 25 January 2007.

The three-day workshop targets youth at risk in disadvantaged communities in Nassau. It aims to build the capacity of these young people in utilising educative and development theatre strategies to address community and social issues and to identify and implement solutions to the challenges which confront young people, particularly in lifestyle management.

Approximately 30 young people drawn from several target communities in the Bahamas will be trained in the use of educative and theatrical skills.

Educative theatre has been identified as one of The Bahamas' priorities for mobilising communities in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This participatory method is viewed as a medium through which young people can use their own language, experiences and interests to tell their own stories about the challenges that confront them and to identify solutions to these challenges.

On the final day of the training – Saturday, 27, January 2007 – the participants will move out into communities where they will interact with over 500 young people, sharing information on HIV/AIDS, distributing condoms, engaging other youth in dialogue and documenting their responses to crime, drugs and other issues associated with HIV and AIDS.

Caribbean Governments continue to work together in formulating comprehensive policies and implementing programmes designed to tackle the HIV/AIDS pandemic in a more aggressive manner.

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