Somali youth lead community street theatre performances

The yellow team sought to sensitise the Eastleigh community on the dangers associated with use of drugs such as miraa, bhang and excessive use of alcohol and find solutions through community discussions to drug and alchohol addiction

IREX Europe and its partner organization the Somali Aid Foundation (SAF) engage vulnerable Somali communities in Kenya, in both Eastleigh, a Somali suburb of Nairobi, Kenya, and in the Somali refugee camp of Hagadera, on the Kenya-Somali border, in Drama for Conflict Transformation methodolgy, a powerful form of ‘street theatre’ to encourage peaceful problem solving. The project, funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, trained 60 motivated youth participants and trainers in June 2011 to prepare them to organise their own community theatre performances. The training included skills in interactive theatre techniques, public speaking, conflict mitigation, event organization, and audience participation strategies.

Drama for Conflict Transformation is a rapidly growing, highly successful avenue for conflict transformation in many communities. Its effective and creative methodology is used to challenge preconceptions, making it a particularly effective mechanism through which communities can address complex and highly-charged issues. Perhaps most significantly, DCT generates the potential for marginalized and disadvantaged people to find empowering creative responses instead of helpless victimization.

Following the training, four teams went on to implement community performances each at the end of July on important community issues, including domestic violence, forced marriage, migration and refugee issues, drug abuse, FGM, and girl’s education. Each event gathered around 40 people from the Somali community of Eastleigh, including imams, NGOs representatives, parents, students and community leaders.

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- British Foreign & Commonwealth Office


SAF logo

The green team created a play on forced marriage and female genital mutiliation (FGM)

The blue team performance sought to raise awareness on the causes and consequences of domestic violence and raised community discussion on how to enhance good relations among married couples.

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