Third Sector Awards 2016: Big Impact Award - Winner: MTV Staying Alive Foundation for MTV Shuga

Awarded to a project that has had a substantial impact on national or international life

Campaign centres on soap opera
Campaign centres on soap opera

What is the campaign?

MTV Shuga is a multimedia campaign to improve the sexual and reproductive health of young people aged between 15 and 24. It is a public-private partnership involving the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Viacom International Media Networks, the US President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Elton John Aids Foundation, the infrastructure firm Cardno and the Nigerian government.

What does it involve?

The multi-channel campaign centres on a television soap opera series that includes storylines about HIV and safe sex, featuring HIV testing, living with HIV and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. The programme, which started in Kenya for series one and two before moving to Nigeria for series three and four, uses other media channels to get its messages across and encourage conversations among young people and between people of different generations.

What has it achieved?

MTV estimates that nearly 720 million people were reached worldwide by series four of the programme, which was carried by 162 broadcasters in 73 countries. This included 96 per cent of sub-Saharan African countries, which have been particularly affected by HIV. More than 42 million people were reached by social media.

Polling of more than 1,000 adolescents in the Western Cape province of South Africa showed a 32 percentage point increase in those who, after viewing series four, said they would use a condom during their next sexual act. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents said that, as a result of watching the programme, they had used a condom the last time they had sex. For series three and four, the programme leveraged in-kind donations totalling almost $20m.

What did the judges say?

Niamh Paul, celebrity liaison manager at the Teenage Cancer Trust, said: "This is an amazing project that is innovative and creative. It is taking the messaging out to where the audience is and the results speak for themselves."

Alex Feis-Bryce, chief executive of National Ugly Mugs, said it was a "really impressive idea, worthy of accolades".

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