“Stories are what truly touch us.” Results of the seminar for World AIDS Day

In Kazakhstan, community representatives learned effective communication and became participants for the campaign on World AIDS Day 2023.

Under the slogan “Leadership for Communities,” strategic communications seminar took place in Almaty from October 30 to November 1. Activists, community representatives, and employees of non-governmental organizations from Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan came to Kazakhstan to share experiences with each other and invited experts.

Over three days, under the guidance of media specialists, participants studied the basics of communication strategies, learned effective communication tips with journalists, and independently created video content for social networks.

“We saw tremendous potential in the participants – they are skilled, quick learners, and they are eager to stop the stigma. That’s why we decided that such technical and expert support is exactly what they need at the moment,” noted Charlotte Sektour, Multimedia Communication Manager at UNAIDS, who, as an expert, shared her experience in dealing with the press, public statements, and shaping the concept of information campaigns.

“Today we are here because we are convinced that community representatives must actively participate in information campaigns that address the issues of this community. Effective communication is, of course, a crucial component of our daily work. As part of our ‘Leadership for Communities’ campaign, we focus on personal stories that need to be heard. Because only through personal stories can we talk simply and clearly about important global issues,” said Nina Henke, Junior Professional Staff at UNAIDS Kazakhstan.

UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador in Kyrgyzstan, Erkin Ryskulbekov, who also participated in the seminar, noted that such meetings allow people to open up. “It was a wonderful and heartfelt seminar. Because all these days, I heard such incredible stories – stories full of reflections, hope, and faith. I really hope that they will form the basis of the campaign dedicated to World AIDS Day,” shared Erkin.

The outcome of the meeting will be the information photo and video campaign “Leadership for Communities,” organized by UNAIDS in anticipation of World AIDS Day 2023. Representatives of various communities in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region affected by the HIV epidemic will participate in it. “Our task was not just to shoot short video stories; we needed to quickly reveal each person, show them as a leader who knows what they want and can tell others about it. We sincerely believe that personal stories are what truly touch us. And if after the campaign, at least one person changes their attitude towards people living with HIV or at least tries to find accurate information, then we have done everything right,” shared Elena Derjanschi, one of the training participants, a journalist, and the author of the portal

Stay tuned to our website for updates to be the first to learn about the campaign launch.

Text: Elena Derjanschi
Photo: Ruslan Sholkan