Buea, Cameroon - United Action for Children
United Action for Children is a non-profit that aims to provide an alternative educational system in a community dominated by government-run public schools and costly private institutions. UAC provides a variety of programs including nursery and primary school classes, vocational training, and computer/electronic lessons. This summer, I helped develop and implement a summer program that provided daily classes for remedial math and English, as well as fitness, health and music lessons. The primary focus of this summer session aimed to address the problem of HIV/AIDS through a new music program, where the kids can apply musical skills to the exploration of a social issue. For one hour a day, students attended a music theory/performance class, followed by another one-hour session of HIV/AIDS prevention thematic discussion. Afterwards, students were asked to apply musical aspects to HIV/AIDS facts and develop a drama showcasing what they had learned. Each week, a dramatic performance was presented, and at the end of the summer session, a post-test was administered to gauge how much the students learned, which was then compared with the results from a pre-test. The incorporation of music and drama with an otherwise mundane topic for young students ensured the retention of facts and learned information. I performed an evaluation of the effectiveness of the program and from the assessment; I found that the new style of teaching through application of music and drama was successful, and increased retention rates of HIV/AIDS facts, with 98% of the class receiving a perfect score on the post-test.