Education for Peace
September 28, 2017
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September 29, 2017

Theater for peace: a new animation tool (CIPCRE)

Context

More than 50% of the Cameroonian population is made up of young people. Around 8 million children and youth seek food, education and employment in a country marked by increasing poverty. Much of the well-trained youth are trying to leave the country to seek employment in Europe or the United States. This situation is a real threat to Cameroon because the country needs these young people who could be an engine of development. This peace is more fragile with the breakdown of trust between parents and young people.

There is thus a crucial problem of training and equipping young people to become actors of social change, to build a society of justice and peace by rebuilding the system of trust in order to benefit from the relay of the class leader.

It is in this sense that the International Creative Promotion Circle (CIPCRE), with the support of EED, through the SCP professional program, initiated in 2011 a program which it has dubbed “Theater for the peace “in order to respond not only to the internal needs of CIPCRE in terms of a transversal tool for facilitating and decompartmentalizing working units, but also to the reality of the local context of intervention, which is dominated by oral tradition. Theater is thus the tool that will allow people to express themselves better, to exceed their limits and to optimize their capacities in terms of communication, insurance, discovery of oneself and others. It is thus a universal language which, by associating the verbal expression of the chant and the corporeal of the dance, makes it possible to make history and stories live while provoking changes.

Developing and implementing such a concept has become an essential strategy for awareness, education and personal development and the participation of the beneficiaries it supports, especially since, as stated by the SG “It is not enough to teach children to read, write and count. We must also teach them respect for others and the world in which we live, and thus promote the advent of more just, more open and harmonious societies.

Goals

The overall aim of the “Theater for Peace” project is to contribute to the consolidation of peace in Cameroon through the promotion of theater as a tool for animation, education and communication for use by CIPCRE and its partners . The specific objectives are:

  • Train CIPCRE partners in theater for facilitation, education and awareness-raising in various peace-related areas;
  • Support CIPCRE’s awareness campaigns through the creation and deployment of a mobile theater intervention troupe.

The expected results

The expected results related to the project objectives were: A Mobile Theater Troupe is created and operates to support the activities of CIPCRE; CIPCRE’s partners have appropriated theater as a tool of animation and awareness.

Planned activities

To achieve the above-mentioned results, the following major activities have been planned:

  • Create and animate a Theater Intervention Troop (TIM) for the support of CIPCRE activities Train CIPCRE partners on theatrical staging
  • Monitor the activities of TIM and other CIPCRE partners

Activities

As foreseen in the project, our work is divided into two parts: the training of CIPCRE’s partners in theater for animation, education and awareness-raising in various fields related to peace and creation and animation of a Mobile Theater Troupe to support CIPCRE’s awareness campaigns through the creation and deployment of a mobile theater intervention troupe.

For the first part, 14 trainings have been organized for the benefit of our partners:

  1. In the framework of the prevention of the dehumanizing discriminatory practices of widowhood rites, mounted with the widows, notables and heads of the BAHAM village in West Cameroon, scenes on widowhood rites as they were originally observed and as they will be practiced in the future. These scenes made it possible to live effectively all the forms of dehumanizations that have affected widowhood rites over time.
  2. One for the benefit of the members of the Protestant Students’ Movement of Cameroon (MEPC) representing the students of 9 Universities of Cameroon. At the end of the 4 days of this training of trainers which took place in Dschang, a play based on scenes improvised by the participants was mounted and presented to the public. The main theme was social conflicts and the search for peace. The life of an ordinary family with all its conflicts against the background of dream of a peaceful life of the members of this family was staged by young students.
  3. One took place in Foumban and benefited a group of young leaders of the Islamic Dynamics Justice, Peace and Saving of Creation of Foumban and AJP CEDES. It took place over two days and was attended by 16 people including 8 young women. At the end of this session, 4 scenarios were set up by the beneficiaries and dealt with the social problems that undermine Bamoun society, including inheritance, interreligious marriage, sexist discrimination and corruption.
  4. One was organized in Foumbot and benefited the leaders of the Islamic Dynamics justice, peace and safeguarding of creation and young Catholics of the Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission. 17 participants, 8 of whom participated in this session. As with the other trainings, the participants created scenes that are relevant to their everyday life, including the problem of gender discrimination and early marriages.
  5. Two were organized for the benefit of the secondary and primary education partners of CIPCRE in the western region of Cameroon. the theme of this session was the use of theater as a tool for raising awareness among pupils and teachers about the problems of abuse of authority, corruption and “sexually transmitted notes” in schools. Three scenes were set up on the three themes by the beneficiary teachers at the end of the training. They are committed to valuing the skills acquired in their respective schools.
  6.   Two were organized for the benefit of teachers in secondary schools and focused on non-violent communication. The aim was to provide teachers with the necessary tools to understand and improve the quality of communication and interpersonal relations within the Educational Community. This session enabled beneficiaries to realize that through their actions, words and attitudes they are very often and without seeing and wanting, violent towards students and their colleagues and committed to making efforts to be less violent.
  7. Three training sessions were specially organized for the benefit of the TIM to enable members of the theater troupe to get involved in the themes handled by CIPCRE in its activities and to train them in techniques of design, development, editing, integration characters and staging.
  8. One for the benefit of members of the Theater Club of the Lycée de Bahouan. it focused on the use of theater as a tool for awareness, education and information. Another one for the students’ leaders of the Lycée de Bahouan on the management of relations between pupils and teachers and on the associative life in schools around the themes: How to live together? One within the framework of interreligious cooperation for the benefit of the Islamic and Protestant Dynamics Justice Peace and Safeguarding Creation and the Diocesan Commission, traditional leaders.
  9. One in the framework of the peaceful management of the conflicts between farmers and breeders for the benefit of the Community of Tsinégha.

As for the second part of our objective, to direct and animate a Mobile Theater Troupe to support CIPCRE’s awareness campaigns through the creation and deployment of a mobile theater intervention troupe , after several casting sessions, 16 young people were selected. Among them are 3 young people who do not attend school and 13 young schoolchildren at Lycée Classique Bafoussam, Lycée Bilingue de Bafoussam, Collège Saint Thomas and Collège la Confiance. There are also Protestant and Catholic Christians as well as Muslims identified in parishes and mocked. Thanks to the support provided by CIPCRE, the Mobile Intervention Troop meets every Monday afternoon for rehearsal sessions. These meetings are held at the CIPCRE headquarters and to date, three (6) scenes have been set up by this troupe, focusing on the sexual rights of children and particularly on the themes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and sexist discrimination, school violence and the peaceful management of conflicts between farmers and stockbreeders. The presentation of these scenes with a view to raising awareness, educating and informing the general public and CIPCRE’s partners in rural areas and schools has started well. It should be noted that at the same time, we use theater a lot in our training, education and educational activities, because this tool allows us to easily break the ice and open the debate. We also use it to illustrate our lessons in Citizenship Education. All these activities are accompanied by follow-up missions to inquire into the effects and impacts of training and other activities, the difficulties encountered by the partners in implementing the achievements in order to improve and better guide our future interventions .

 
 
 
 
 

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