The use of dramatic productions, written, produced and performed by beneficiaries is a key factor in the creative education work of the Create Trust.
Issues of social concern relevant to the target group have been agreed and tackled through Community Theater. Issues such as prostitution in project ‘Listen to Me My Country’, child abuse in projects ‘Hope Enterprises’ in Ethiopia and ‘Familiar Home’ in India, corporal punishment and friendship in ‘GOAL’ and ‘ANFAFA’ projects in Ethiopia, where we looked at journeys, social and physical, and again focused on child abuse.
The themes come from the beneficiaries. The first major community theatre work we undertook was with the women in the FSCE (Forum for Street Children Ethiopia) project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They were asked what subject they wished to discuss in the theatre module, and as if with one voice they said Prostitution. The musical theatre production was broken onto three sections/acts: how they had become commercial sex workers; what the life was like; and finally how to break out of that way of living. The production was wonderful and the women were, for the first time, given a voice, hence the title of the production, ‘Listen to Me My Country’.
Loving Learning project, utilised Community Theatre work to raise awareness of the value of education, to bring lasting change in the lives of disadvantaged families. Thisproject was realized in partnership with the Tesfa Foundation.
The Create Trust has since our first trip to Ethiopia, been working with volunteers from the Theatre Studies course at Addis Ababa University. These local volunteers will work with children on the project to write, produce and perform theatre productions for the community, aiming to help shift the pre–existing attitudes towards education and work in parents. This initiative is a partnership project with the Tesfa Foundation.
We are always looking for specialist volunteers in the creative arts to contribute on the ground to the Community Theatre work.