Winners of YAHAnet's First Global Contest!


YAHAnet’s first ever contest in summer 2008 challenged youth to create artistic works that expressed their thoughts and feelings on the role RISK plays in daily life. Contestants were asked to submit an original work of art to one of three categories (visual, performance, or text) that was a reflection on the question: “If you know a practice or behaviour could put you at RISK of contracting HIV, why would you do it anyway?”

Entries were evaluated based on creativity and originality, ability to successfully depict a contemporary youth issue relating to risk, technical merit, and connection to HIV and AIDS. Winners were chosen for each category, but since there were no submissions in the Peformance Arts category, there are two contest winners instead of three.

And the winners are...

Visual Arts category:
MARIEL GARCÍA MONTES (Mexico) for her work "Passion Wins"

Text category:
FELISTA WAMBUI WANGARI (Kenya) for her poem "Deadly Payoffs: Why I Risk It"

Congratulations to Mariel and Felista and a big thank you to all contestants!


Get to know the winners...

Mariel García Montes: "I'm 18 years old, and I live in Mexico City. I am a philosophy student, and I’m interested in humanities, social science and gymnastics-dance. I am not currently involved in AIDS-related activism, but in the past, I had the opportunity to work on the development of a Model UN debate for primary school students on HIV & AIDS and children and to make a video log on AIDS among Mexican youth for MTV & Staying Alive. I think that what our generation can do to solve the problem of HIV & AIDS all over the world relies on the cultural dimension of the problem. We can leave behind the barriers that caused the epidemic to go out of control by helping educate our young people and the upcoming generations in order to make sure they have the chance to participate in the fight against HIV & AIDS."

Felista Wambui Wangari: "I am a 23 year old student, studying Special Needs in Education, and I come from an industrial town in Kenya called Thika. I have been involved in educating my peers at college on HIV & AIDS, especially on the issue of keeping oneself safe either through abstinence, using protection (condoms) or being faithful to one partner. My involvement in educating my peers has been mainly informal (i.e. during social interaction and any other appropriate times). I believe youth should take an active role in advocacy for HIV & AIDS because they are the next generation, and they are the ones who are hardest hit by the HIV & AIDS epidemic. Youth should take a lead in knowing their status, preventing HIV and stopping AIDS in its tracks."

Other notable entries...

"When the Toddler Leads the Man" by Soumitra Subinaya (India)
"Letter" by Tolu Ogunlesi (Nigeria)