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Theater for development can assist in ending violence against children — expert

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Mrs Ruth Sankey, an artistic director with Space 2000 theater production, Kaduna says theater for development (TFD) can serve as a tool for ending all forms of violence against children in the state.

The theatre expert made the remarks at the ongoing four-day workshop on ending Violence against children (EVAC) on Thursday in Zaria, Kaduna state.

NAN reports that the workshop was organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) with support from United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for community facilitators across six local government areas of the state.

Sankey stated that TFD could help change situation of a community when domesticated adding that it was the simplest and effective tool that trigger change in the society.

According to her, theatre for development does not require much skills or high level of education but the knowledge of issues and desire for change.

“The objective of TFD is to create a forum for community members to assess, analyse, share views and educate themselves about their problems in order to arrive at a consensus on what behavioural attitudes to change in order to solve their problems.

“It is a horizontal medium of communication that is all inclusive, where all persons in the community can air their views regardless of the age, gender and status,” she said.

She added that TFD could serve as a tool that would help a community dig further and understand all VAC issues surrounding them, where to access help and how to prevent initial occurrence or reoccurrence.

She urged facilitators to focus on key messages that would focused on the various forms of VAC, such as emotional, physical, sexual violence and neglect while guiding communities in conducting TFD.

Earlier, Mr Dennis Onoise, child protection specialist with UNICEF said that the issue of VAC is a sensitive pointing out that special tools like TFD could be used to engage members of communities.

“Some of the cases of violence have been a long time practices especially physical violence which many people see as a normal way of disciplining a child; child marriage and the issue of Almajiri system.

“By the end of this workshop, we intend to go into wards and small communities where issues of VAC are common and engage them using town hall meetings and traditional Rulers’ palaces among others”, he said.

Edited & Vetted By: Tukur Muntari.
(NAN)

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