Participatory theatre as a powerful educational tool

Program start 2011
Impacted population

Human Drama : Community-led development through participatory theater

Context

Whether for cultural, religious, social or political reasons, the people of Myanmar suffer from a significant lack of knowledge on crucial health and social issues. Without opportunities for the open discussion of important or taboo subjects, communities are victims of ignorance.

The army took control of the country during the coup d’état on February 1, 2021. FXB remains fully committed to serving the most vulnerable populations.

Our action

The objective of Human Drama—the first program of its kind, designed in 2011 by the British Council and FXB in Myanmar—is to help people become aware of various issues related to health, human trafficking, domestic and sexual violence, gender equality, the dangers of social networks (fake news), peacebuilding and safety. FXB works in collaboration with the organization MyJustice to improve legal knowledge and access to justice in communities.

This edutainment program has proven to be a remarkably effective communication and awareness tool. The performers present short plays illustrating real-life problems and situations chosen by the FXB team in the targeted community. They encourage the audience to intervene at key moments in the performance, whenever the spectator thinks that he or she can say or do something that would change the course of events. Role-playing is a simple but effective way to address the issues at hand: the complementary performances and workshops allow audience members to analyze their own reality, become aware of the potentially negative impact of their actions on others, and thus gain a greater sense of ownership concerning the need for behavioural change. This technique also tends to create empathy among community members.

The strength of our approach : Creating fertile ground to inform and induce behavior change.

In this favorable environment, community members are able to freely express opinions and determine the best solutions to the problems they face.

Unlike other methods of disseminating messages, such as brochures, this edutainment program has proven to be a remarkably efficient tool for communication and to raise awareness.

 

Program impact

Over time, the programme has built a solid reputation in Myanmar. It enables several thousand people each year to engage in critical discussions on more than twenty social issues.

Through a cross-cutting and innovative partnership with IF International Foundation in 2 VillageFXB programs developed in the Mon State, over 18,000 community members will be reached through the Human Drama by 2023.

Testimonial

My sister convinced me to attend a performance of Human Drama in my village. I learned that violence against women is not a normal part of life.

Cherry