“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela (South African anti-apartheid revolutionary)

Sensitization literally means making people ‘sensitive’ about an issue. This is the core of awareness raising and is what you ideally want to achieve – that people become aware and react to certain issues.

What are the different strategies to sensitize people around you?

  • Improving knowledge: This means that you want to inform people about an issue and make sure that they have the correct information to truly understand the issue. You want your target audience to think critically about the issue and actively process information.

  • Changing attitudes: This means that you want to change people’s behaviour or attitudes towards the issue. You need to explain to them how new behaviours and attitudes will have an impact and maybe even change cultural norms and beliefs.

  • Focus on skills: Make sure people have the skills to go with their changed behaviour and attitudes.

  • Building social support: People you are sensitizing should know where they can get support, or give support, to other people facing the same issue.

You practice!

Here are some tips to put the information you read above into practice;

  • Sensitize through interaction and discussion

  • Sensitize by challenging myths and correcting misconceptions

  • Sensitize with convincing arguments

  • Sensitize through skills building activities, such as role play or other capacity building trainings

  • Sensitize through encouraging your audience to build a social support network

Try one of these sensitizing strategies with one of your friends to see how it works!