Do you want to know what’s behind the idea and the realization of Don’t Beat Our Future show? This article is what you need to read!
If you have had a look at our previous posts, you might now wonder how the idea for the show came and what the main purpose of the show is. You might already have found an answer to the latter question in the name of the show: Don’t Beat Our Future. You might have even a more complete picture if you have seen the video on the melody of Stitches by Shawn Mendes and listened to the song in the light of the topic of child abuse. Moreover, the show has been put up thanks to the grant from Forum Syd – a branch organization under the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) – that is involved in projects related to human rights protection. But all of this might not be enough to really get the aim of this project. So here we are to illustrate the ideas behind the show that will be performed in one week in the rural areas of Western Kenya. Hence:
1) Why putting up a show to sensitize on the topic of child abuse?
Violence against children is prohibited by Kenyan Constitution on 2010 under article 53. Our kids were not aware of this, and we can claim with decision that they are much better informed than the ones who live in the rural areas of Kenya. In a society where violence is perpetuated since early ages, abuses create a vicious circle of ill childhoods, and this illness is transmitted from one generation to the other. It goes by itself the relevance of this topic worldwide, but it assumes a more decisive urge when it involves areas with low level of education. Throughout a 3-day workshop – in which also representatives of the Kenyan governmental Department of Children Services (DCS) were involved – our kids have discussed the topic with passion and reached a joint vision on why violence can never be the solution. The aim of the show is the one of raising awareness instead of lecturing, and thanks to the workshop our youth have been able to put up a show that is culturally sensitive. The representatives from Children’s Office (the informal denomination for the DCS) have shared their wisdom on how to advice families in those areas, and – even if we discourage every type of violence – our target remains the excessive one.
2) Why Western Kenya?
We have chosen to perform in Western Kenya because the Western rural areas of the country are the ones with the highest rate of HIV and AIDS spread among the population. This implies that, more often than not, kids are sent to live with relatives or stepparents who we know are more inclined to use excessive violence on them. In addition, rural areas were the target for the show all along. This is because, as mentioned above, the level of education is much lower than the one of metropolitan areas, and sometimes the only socialization received in the community is the one of the community itself, through imitation. In these areas, not only parents believe that violence is the only way, but also kids are unaware of the fact that they have rights. This show aims at illustrating both parents and children that there are another ways to solve conflicts: peaceful ones. Moreover, the predominant ethnicity in Western Kenya is Luo, the same of a great portion of Kibera. Some of our kids have connections in that area that were able to exploit in their favor to make the show accepted by and credible to the community. If this was not enough, it is worth mentioning that part of the acting is performed in Luo language, to make the message easier and more direct to internalize by the audience.
3) Is Wale Wale cooperating with other organizations for this project?
Wale Wale Kenya has seek the approval of the Kenyan governmental Department of Children Services for this project. The non-governmental organization Childline Kenya (CLK), in partnership with the DCS, has also taken a pivotal role in it. In particular, this is because CLK – that aims to promote child rights and enhance child protection through ICT innovations – offers a 24-hour toll free helpline available to all those adults or children concerned about issues related to children welfare and well-being (to know more about Childline Kenya visit: http://www.childlinekenya.co.ke/). The number for the helpline (116) will be on our youth T-shirts while performing to give a practical tool to the audience to be used to contrast violence. Moreover, representatives from the Department of Children Services will be preset in some of the venues to answer questions on the topic. The project has also received the blessing by local authorities in the areas, thanks to the pre-visit of our youths in the villages where the performance will take place.
Everything clear now? Then, comment and share!