S.A.F.E. Kenya and Lamu Arts and Theatre Alliance (LATA) have created a team to deliver a three-year project harnessing the power of the arts to educate, inspire and empower communities to take action to build their resilience to climate change, protect their natural environment and thrive. In conjunction, it will build the capacity of LATA as a local community-led organisation to allow them to take the lead in resilience building in Lamu County in the future.
Introducing Forum Theatre.
This type of theatre is specifically designed to achieve social aims by encouraging audience interaction and the exploration of different solutions to problems and issues. S.A.F.E Kenya, has had positive outcomes using this technique in a previous environmental project focussed in Kenya’s South Coast.
In its first year, the project will tour around Pate Island performing their forum theatre piece to present the current situation to the community in an engaging and culturally appropriate format. It will then challenge community members to think about the decisions that they make and the effects these have on the environment by encouraging audience participation.
During the performances, community environment champions will be identified. These champions will lead community workshops where the decisions and actions presented by the community members in the audience will be turned into action plans. These workshops will include representatives from all parts of the community, ensuring participation by groups not usually included in decision making – such as women, youth and people with disabilities.
The final stage of the first year is action.
Community action days, led by the community environment champions will bring communities together for a day of environmental action. The content of these days will be decided by the champions in each village. They will address issues identified by them in their action plan. Actions could include;
- Mangrove planting
- Plastic clean-ups
- Education on sustainable fishing methods
- Alternative livelihood demonstrations
- Motivational speakers discussing the need for gender equality
In the final years, the team will build on the attitudinal change and empowerment created to support the implementation of the village action plans, build their capacity and introduce new stakeholders and ideas to the project.