Oxfam Partnership in the Democratic Republic of Congo

For two weeks from 27th June to 8th July 2016, Rebecca Bogue and Amy Gwilliam from Theatre for a Change trained 18 staff from Oxfam and some of Oxfam’s partner organisations in Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This 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.

Some of our DRC trainees said:

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

“A facilitator needs to have the trust of the audience, to motivate them to act for a change, to be attentive to the audience and the actors [and] to lead the audience towards the intended aim”.

Theatre for a Change and Oxfam Partnership Summary Report