Raising the consciousness through Theatre (Déou, Burkina Faso)

Raising the consciousness through Theatre (Déou, Burkina Faso)

A bit of history:

Since 1986 AMURT is working in Déou, one of the world remotest and poorest region 300 miles North of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. This is a semi-desert like place with a sandy type of soil and thorny bushes. There is no road, no electricity and the weather is extremely hot most of the year. The villagers rear cattle and during the short raining season they grow their local cereal (some sort of millet).
Our late Dada Rudreshvarananda initiated many projects like reforestation, alphabetisation, digging of wells, building a health dispensary, etc… Nowadays our main focus is health and amongst other things we are training AVs “Accoucheuses Villageoises” who are 32 local women who help and support mothers before, at the time and after giving birth and some ASVs “Agent de Santé Villageois” who are 7 local health agents helping in providing the basics in health care (mostly regarding malaria, conjunctivitis, wounds and dysentery cases). Our effort there is greatly appreciated for no other NGO is coming forward to help in such a remote and tough place to live (and to reach!).

Today’s need in raising the consciousness:

Raising the consciousness is the most urgent and durable service we can possibly offer. Now in order to help the local population to become more and more aware of issues like AIDS, female genital mutilation, hygiene, malnutrition,… we are planning to train 10 young boys and girls (from Déou area) to perform a play which purpose will be to bring to the people these issues in an attractive and educative way.
We contacted two experienced trainer specialised in “theatre forum” who can in a very innovative and humorous way put into play day to day happenings of the villagers in order to point out common misbehaviours. Right after the act the public is invited to react and comment the play and together (including government health officials) we try to find the best way to improve the situation.
People of Déou area are still mostly uneducated (more than 90% of illiteracy) and that is the main obstacle in bringing improvement in their life style. Raising the consciousness, educating the people is the very fundamental need. The”theatre forum” is a very appropriate way of the rising of the consciousness. Plus it is not new here in Burkina and it has proved so beneficial whenever it has been used in educational campaign.
Help in bringing to local population’s awareness such issues was first requested by the Major of Déou area (the main health official) alarmed by the rise in AIDS cases amongst the youth.
That is why, we think that it is urgent to implement some campaign and to do it in a way people can relate with and really learn from.

Project characteristics and advantages :

-The first part of the project shall happen in January 2009 and last for 14 days. In this span of time 2 experienced trainers will train 10 actors; they will form a theatre troupe and create a play based on local health and other misbehaviour issues.
- The actors will be offered (vegetarian!) collective lunch for the whole period of the training.
- The troupe will then be officially recognized by the authorities and will have the possibility to independently create and offer plays… It will be a great opportunity for these selected young boys and girls who will get a potential income from it.
- Then this is the second part: at Easter time the play will be performed in the main villages confined in Déou area (minimum 5). One supervisor (how was previously the main trainer) will have the troupe rehearsal and be ready for acting the play. After acting the play the public will be invited to a dialogue with the actors, AMURT and the health officials. A list of question will be prepared and given to the public in order to estimate their understanding of the issues involved during the play and to evaluate the actual impact of the campaign.
- The troupe will remain available for AMURT or any other benevolent organisation for any other similar campaign in the future (and the need is so great in such remote areas).

Grant amount requested

Exchange rate: 1 US $ = 524 CFA

Training 10 actors:
Salaries of 2 trainers for 14 days: 2*15.000*14 = 420.000 CFA
Incentives per day for the trainees: 10*1.000*14 = 140.000 CFA

Collective lunch:
Renting the services of a local cook for 14 lunch: 14*2.500 = 35.000 CFA
Food for 10 people for 14 lunch: 14*2.500 = 35.000 CFA

Creation of the play “theatre forum”:
1 play = 200.000 CFA

Second part, cost of acting the play:
10 actors for 5 plays: 10*5*10.000 = 500.000 CFA
1 supervisor for 5 plays: 5*15.000 = 75.000 CFA

Administration: 70.000 CFA
Transportation: 350.000 CFA

Creation of the background (decoration):
Item Quantity Unit price CFA Price CFA
Pipe 35 4b 6500 26000
Pipe 30 7b 4450 31000
Pipe 20 5b 3700 18500
Bolt 80 250 20000
Anti-rust 3Kg 3500 10500
Welding - - 25000
Cloth 20m 2000 40000
Sowing - - 10000
Drum 2 25000 50000
Creation - - 50000
TOTAL 281000

Light equipment:
Item Quantity Unit Price CFA Price CFA
Double deck 1 50000 5000
Projector (1000 W) 1 100000 100000
Electric wire (roll) 1 12500 12500
Plug multiple 1 1000 1000
TOTAL 118.500

The sum TOTAL is 2.044.000 CFA that is US$ 3901.

AMURT will host and feed the trainers for the whole duration of the program. AMURT will make available its own electricity generator and sound system. AMURT team will be assuming all the logistic of the event.

You are welcome to support the whole project or any part of it you wish to. Thank you so very much!