In June 2016, Theatre for a Change held a training for 18 human rights activists in Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The training took place as part of Oxfam’s Protection in Practice project, which supports local organisations to respond to human rights abuses.

Participants were trained in advocacy through Legislative Theatre, to help give communities a voice on the issues facing them. The group learned how to:

  • Develop a strong, supportive group environment
  • Enable individuals to explore their own behaviours
  • Support others in identifying and positively changing damaging behaviours
  • Identify human rights abuses and advocate for change using Legislative Theatre
  • Involve power holders actively in implementing policies that support human rights

Techniques included body sculpting to demonstrate how victims of abuse feel in threatening situations and when their rights are upheld.

The training also involved trainees developing their own piece of drama around gender-based inequality, while the roles of local authorities in the situations demonstrated in the drama piece were carefully considered and policy changes were suggested.

At the end of the fortnight, the group performed to local power holders and decision makers. The new facilitators are now equipped to deliver sessions using our methodology with the most vulnerable women and girls in their communities, and will continue to receive monitoring and evaluation support.

Photo copyright Jean Bizimana for Taking Pictures, Changing Lives

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Facilitating assertiveness is an extraordinary thing because before changing the behaviour of others you have to change your own behaviour first.

Training Participant

Read more about the training here