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Health - GAM health programs to raise the awareness of stigmas on HIV

As most of you know: in Amsterdam Zuidoost there are great difficulties with the HIV-virus within the African community. One of the problematic aspects of the problem seems to be the unwillingness to talk about the virus. Apparently, great social stigmas still rest on the virus.

Stichting GAM has been working with GGD Amsterdam and have had lots of trainings on these stigmas. It is useful to understand these stigmas because they cause various problems around the virus. For a person carrying the virus it makes life much harder.

We have heard many stories of people loosing their houses and their jobs because they are suffering from the virus. As a result, many are lying about their status; which creates a lot of possible risks.

Also, stigmas make it difficult to discuss prevention like testing and condom use. This increases the change of infection. Basically, stigmas are not protecting people; they are preventing people from getting the right protection. 

GAM has made lots of films and theatre to help solve these problems.
Stichting GAM through its various programmes mostly through drama both on stage and in theatre has become a link within the African community and their Dutch host in the Netherlands.  We have since inception being broadcasting our dramas on local television channels and radio stations in Amsterdam Zuidoost. Our programmes are targeted at promoting information dissemination within the community and providing enlightenment to the public, mostly Africans.

They love our programmes because of subjects which we cover and such projects cover several health issues like Teenage pregnancy, Abortion, HIV/Aids and the stigma and Taboe attached to it, integration with Dutch society  and family upbringing of children and sexuality etc. We use drama to bring forth these messages in form of EDUCATION, INFORMATION, ENLIGHTENMENT AND ENTERTAINMENT.


Past Activities of GAM
Since 2002 GAM has done lots of productions both on Stage and also on Television, talk shows, Films and Documentary.
We work together with other organizations such as Godyia, Okyeman Foundation, Visa Versa, Kwahuman Association, Pentecost Revival Church etc.

Some of our achievements are as follows:

  • GAM came out with the theater production on the Stigma of HIV/AIDS Philoctetes in 2006.
  • Stichting GAM in cooperation with AFAPAC has done productions to educate the community on HIV/Aids. In 2006 and 2007 also, another production to promote the testing for HIV/Aids virus (DON’T CRY FOR ME) and possible treatments available to such people.
  • In the year 2009 GAM also joined in the fight of Female Circumcision by making a film about it (Cultural Boxing)
  • In collaboration with GGD Amsterdam, our members received training on HIV/Aids to help some of the members to become Health Actors in the community.
  • Stichting GAM together with WIPSA has a production on the Women’s day to empowered Women.
  • Stichting GAM have been participating in all the drama festival organized by the Theaterwerkplaats Zuidoost (KRATER) and we are proud to mention that we won most of the awards in these Festivals Also with KRATER the group in 2006 did a joint production with different groups coming together to have one big performance (FLEX) which was also very challenging to us.
  • Stichting GAM also participated in the Carnival in Amsterdam Zuidoost to show the culture of African Chieftaincy.
  •  In Den Haag we had a performance to show Ghana culture as a form of integration in the Netherlands every year at the Ghanfest.
  • GAM is proud to say our television (GAM TV) was nominated for Salto Awards 2008 and 2009 as best television program.


The Youth and Love – GAM Production


This film idea was to help raise awareness for the youth and general public about the importance of safe sex and to protect themselves against STI’s and HIV/AIDS and Teenage pregnancy within our community, particularly Africans.
Stichting GAM felt it was something needed to enlighten the community on this issue.

Good television drama has always captivated and enthralled audiences in our community and usually draws more people to the TV set than most regular programmes.  It is these factors that have helped to engender creation of this new TV drama, “THE YOUTH AND LOVE”, specifically designed to educate the youth and help them adopt more responsible sexual life-styles.

The group decided to do a research by interviewing the youth in the community about their sex lives.
We also did lots of interviews with the teenage parents to know how much they are involved in their kids life.  All of our films are been shown our local television (GAM TV) which is on every Wednesday 21uur to 22uur on Salto 2.

Stichting GAM wants to continue its work to the community on a more professional level by motivating the actors and actresses through theatre training.
Stichting GAM is seeking for a permanent place for our rehearsals and also for shooting of films and right locations.

Stichting GAM realized that we reach more of our audience through the Television programs. Bringing the production into their homes under a relax atmosphere has more far reaching effect on the people and they sometimes record the drama programmes and re-watch on a later date.

GAM is proud to say that with our own television channel (GAM TV) which we broadcast every Wednesday evening from 9pm to 10pm. we now have the tool to reach our target group in our community at least twice a week through our Television Channel.

With GAM TV we intend to work more closely with other organizations to bring out more information on health issues.
We are looking at the possibilities of entering the Dutch national channels as a bigger tool at reaching more migrants in the Netherlands.