18 June 2009

CARE tackles youth violence and conflict through innovative theatre production

Dili: June 2009 CARE has brought together members of rival martial arts gangs to settle their differences through the art of theatre. In the week beginning June 22, CARE will be assisting youth in the local communities of Bairo Pite in the production of two 20-minute plays to be performed in the five mapping areas of Bairo Pite. This theatre production brings together young people from disparate sectors of the communities to work together with a shared goal of breaking down barriers between them and increasing mutual understanding and tolerance. The production, which is based on themes of conflict and peace, provides a strong message of the power of reconciliation in its demonstration that youth can work together.

Fifty young people have been selected through audition to participate in the production facilitated by local production company and NGO Bibi Bulak. The participants have received training in peace education delivered by Community Activities for Local Mitigation, Empowerment and Reintegration (CALMER), script writing, acting and technical skills as well as supervision over the entire process of the development and performance of the production.

“This is a significant step in the peace building process in Bairo Pite as it shows a strong willingness and desire of the youth to move towards a more peaceful future”, commented Richard Bowd, CALMER Project Manager at CARE International Timor-Leste.

The CALMER project aims to strengthen local-level leadership in Bairo Pite. It will provide benefits to the 28,000 residents of Bairo Pite by addressing the root causes of conflict and violence, developing robust community-based mechanisms for conflict mitigation and promoting increased participation by all sectors of the community in the peacebuilding process.

Specifically, the CALMER project aims to assist approximately 1,750 IDP households to return and reintegrate into Bairo Pite, build the capacity of over 100 community leaders in Bairo Pite, provide community activities to benefit approximately 5,000 community members including women and children, assist up to 25 youth groups/community organisations, and support 15 local non-governmental organisations and networks, including youth groups and women’s networks.

For interviews contact: Diane Francisco Ph +670-332-1407 or +670-723-3490 Email: diane.francisco@gmail.com

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