Educating Citizen on Civic Rights through Theatre

According to International standards of Democracy, it is the role of Governments to provide spaces for its citizenry to access relevant information as well as services. Of these two, one cannot exist without the other – whichever you take up first! There’s a saying that goes like this; if you want to hide something from an African, put it in writing. Readership traits are practiced under on the contexts of examinations beyond that, reading is accorded second fiddle priority. It is certain that how information is package, influences in a major way the reception and reaction by the perceived audience.

In Eastern Uganda, villagers in Namutumba District like any other semi or non-urbanite constituencies with poor communication infrastructures and as such, limited access to channels of free flowing information such as internet there is a high dependency on development agencies to bridge the gap.  In Kibaale, Nsinze and Kibaale Sub Counties in Namutumba District, support programs have mainly been through ‘classroom-like’ trainings at Sub County or Parish level – leaving the village level acutely misinformed and as such maintaining the status quo: lack of information and knowledge.

In this multifaceted issue of Democracy, Youth in Uganda stand the best chance to actualize but as is the case of demand vs. supply, both have been at an undesirable level. In this situation, efforts should be put in place to empower the “players” on the demand side – in this case the Youth then the supply side will have no alternative but to conform. In Namutumba, the “players” on the demand side (Youths) are being empowered to empower others through visual understanding as opposed to conference seminars, boardroom trainings and unsustainable support programs.

In April 2013, Action Aid trained Youth on Human rights, governance, advocacy, elections and nationhood. They were further trained on developing skits on these topics, skits that they will use to reach out to their counter parts at village level.

On matters of Youth affairs in Namutumba District, i am a habitual optimist and since demand from Youth is deemed as nonexistent, does this mean that communities at Parish and village levels relegated to second class citizens? 


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