On November 26th, we kicked off our global launch in Hyderabad, India. The new animated tutorials in Telugu and English were generously funded by the Nimmagadda Foundation and starred actors Nagarjuna Akkineni, Shabana Azmi, Anushka Shetty, Shruti Haasan, Swati, and Navdeep Pallapollu. The press conference held at the Patodia Auditorium at the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Banjara Hills was attended by more than 150 government officials, heads of NGOs, and members of the media.
The Nimmagadda Foundation/TeachAIDS launch event, titled HIV/AIDS Awareness: Innovative Communication, commenced with a welcoming speech by actor and activist Amala Akkineni. The evening’s event included talks by entrepreneur and philanthropist Nimmagadda Prasad, Stanford University professors Dr. Clifford Nass and Dr. Cheryl Koopman, actor Nagarjuna Akkineni, actress Anushka Shetty, and VenSat founder and CEO Venkatesh Roddam. The event was covered by numerous television stations and newspapers.
The Nimmagadda Foundation donated Rs. 50 Lakhs (USD $105,000) towards the new tutorials. The Nimmagadda Foundation was set up to work in healthcare, education, life skills improvement, and community development by entrepreneur and philanthropist Nimmagadda Prasad. Mr. Prasad is known for his work as the former CEO of Matrix Laboratories, where he helped drive down the annual cost of HIV/AIDS treatment from over $15,000 per person to $150 per person.
In Mumbai, philanthropist Parmeshwar Godrej, Chairperson of Heroes Project, announced that Heroes Project would be launching TeachAIDS / Jeeyo aur Jeene Do, bringing the TeachAIDS animated tutorials to college students and youth at large in conjunction with their innovative street play competition to be judged by Karan Johar, Shahrukh Khan, and Farhan Akhtar.
In partnership with the Botswana Ministry of Education and Skills Development and supported by grants from UNICEF, Barclays Bank, and Yahoo! totalling over USD $100,000, we are pleased to announce the release of our Africa English and Setswana tutorials. These animations feature the voices of Batswana cultural icons Scar, Zeus, Jazzelle, and Tref. The animations also include a special video message from the Former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae, urging youth to protect themselves and raise awareness and understanding of HIV/AIDS. President Mogae joined the TeachAIDS Advisory Board earlier this year.
The new animations will be rolled out to every primary, secondary, and tertiary institution across the country in March 2011: The Month of Youth Against AIDS. This will bring state-of-the-art HIV/AIDS education to 1,066 schools and over 480,000 learners ranging from ages 6 to 24 years old. The TeachAIDS materials will also be made available for free to educators operating in informal learning environments (such as churches, after-school programs, boys and girls clubs, and village outreach programs), and any other organizations operating outside the scholastic environment.
As of 2009, over 17 percent of Botswana’s total population is infected with HIV, yet nine out of ten infected persons are unaware of their status. For Botswana – a country experiencing “HIV fatigue” from a constant stream of mass media campaigns – the idea of developing the TeachAIDS tutorials arose out of a need to provide more interesting, engaging, and culturally-appropriate teaching materials which promote information retention to address the persistent HIV knowledge gap.
New Animated Tutorials
TeachAIDS has partnered with VenSat, a world-class animation company with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Hyderabad, and Chennai, to create all of the new animations at a generously subsidized rate. Our new animated tutorials are available today on our Products page.
Photo: Left to right: Stanford Professor Cheryl Koopman, actress Swati, TeachAIDS founder and CEO Dr. Piya Sorcar, actor Nagarjuna, entrepreneur and philanthropist Nimmagadda Pradad, actress Anushka Shetty