RUPANTAR/Programs of Rupantar/Human Rights Programs

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School Theatre Education Program in Bangladesh

Project Goal: • Children enjoy basic rights including rights to Theatre • Recognition of theatre professional children’s as national agenda • Poor and variously Deprived children and youth are integrated in society

Project Objective: Professional basis for children’s theatre is established in project areas

Project Area: Khulna, norail, Bagerhat, Rajshahi District 33 School

Project Duration: 2004-2009

Project Staff: Total 7 (m- 4 person F- 3 person)

Project Activities:

Study for Massage Development Production Base Drama Workshop for Rupantar Professional Groups Drama Performance at Field Level by Rupantar Professional Groups Skill Development Training For Partners Publication of Book on Children Play Audio Visual Documentation Theater Production Workshop for 33 Child Theater Groups at School Level Theater Performance by School Theater Group Yearly Children's Theatre Festival Policy Advocacy Seminar Workshop with Teachers and Local Theatre Group Would be decided by SIDA and Swedish ITI Project Impact Study, Evaluation report, Phase report Field visit and Internal evaluation Visit by Project Manager and others Audit

Project Impact:

Professional groups and institutions developed & proliferated Resource persons trained in the basics of children’s theatre Resource materials Produced Theatre activities for children / variously deprived children organized Policy advocacy initiated at multiple level Networking with Swedish counterpart and project groups created multiple The child theatre groups being expertise are able to perform theatre The child theatre groups developed expertise in organizing and developing children’s theatre teams. The children are regular in schooling with low rate of drop out as well as showing better results in examinations as quality of education is increased beyond expectation The children involved in the project developed themselves in terms of being able to express themselves freely. Now they are able to participate in all sorts of cultural program with less shyness.

The children’s groups are well aware about their human and social rights. More disadvantaged children have now knowledge of their rights as children and their esteem in society.

The adjacent/neighbouring Schools are showing their willingness to initiate school level theatre programs The school teachers, School Management Committee, parents and other inhabitants of the areas have welcomed the program. Parents and teachers expressed the necessity for School Children’s Theatre and cultural activities by and for the children. The attitude of the government officials as well as the local government representatives is turned to be positive towards children and child theatre education. Accomplished progress in sustainability as Government official at policy makers level and donor agencies are considering the project as a model for quality education and child rights establishment in several regions of the project area. The broadcasting of children’s play of the school theatre teams by Khulna Radio Centre has widened the school theatre activities of Rupantar and also inspired other schools for initiating such program in their schools. The children involved in the project are enthusiastic towards learning and the lessons empowered them to express themselves Learning

Makes children grow Helps build children’s imagination Opportunity for the children to learn Good feelings in the audience Parents should also watch these types of plays Learnt a lot from the play Perfect play at this present time Touched by the performance Children should get proper attention Parents should be friendly to their children Different from our traditional plays Want more of these type of performance Every child is special Tremendous feeling among the children Importance and interest of regular performance Good feeling among the participants Helpful to develop children Pleased with the performance Good acting by children Funding: Swedish Sida

Contract: Swapan Guha, Chief Executive, 01711345175 Rafiqual Islam Khokan, Director, 01711345172 Kartick Roy, Project Coordinator, 01712686876

Case study:

Case study-1

Children’s theatre is broadcast in radio through the initiative of the Regional Director of Khulna Betar (radio)

As a part of project activities, Rupantar organized an advocacy meeting at Rupantar Training Centre, Khulna on 17th May, 2007. Mr. Md. Mujibur Rahman, Regional Director was invited in the meeting as the chief guest. Mr. Mujibur Rahman came to know the objectives of the project and the role of children’s theatre in education. This inspired him and he narrated his views that the excellent works of the child should get communicated widely through media. As he had the capacity to broadcast such programs in radio (Bangladesh Betar), especially at his jurisdiction of Khulna centre.

He shared his experience with the others and took the decision to air the dramas performed by the children’s theatre groups. He inspired his colleagues to materialize his decision. His initiative successfully recorded the drama performed by the theatre group of Uttar Shoilmari Registered Primary School and this was broadcast on air on 3rd June 2008 from Bangladesh Betar, Khulna branch. This was for the first time a children’s drama was on air in this country.

In this regard, Mr. Shah Alam Badal, Program Producer and the Chief staff of Bangladesh Betar, Khulna, expressed his views that the children showed real talent in cultural field and are much realistic in fighting for their rights. The present Secretary of Khulna Nattya Niketan and renowned theatre personality, Mr. Sirajul Islam said that the presentation of the children for their rights is an informative and is very important in developing the children’s brilliance.

Case Study -2

The child is for the child

It is necessarily to develop the children psychosocially with creativity so that they can manifest human virtues. It is also essential that the children develop in a free and fair and favourable environment. Theatre education is one of such tools by which the children become capable in exploring themselves.

Rupantar organized 15 Nos. “Deprived children’s theatre group” in 2007 with the expectation of developing them as other normal children in ensuring their rights.

National Child Tusk Force (NCTF) is a project organized with financial support from “Save the children”. Rupantar is a Focal NGO of Khulna district committee. The main duty of NCTF is to assist the children in protecting their rights and circulate their problems through quarterly booklet.

Rupantar arranged a ceremony to observe the “International Children’s Week” on 5th October in 2007, held at Khulna Press Club Auditorium. The members of the NCTF of Khulna district attended the ceremony. Five Deprived Children’s Theatre Groups, under the project “School theatre Education Program” of Rupantar took part. They performed five dramas expressing their agony of deprivation from rights, expectation, demand and future dreams. The Audience including the members of NCTF became astonished observing the intelligent presentation of the deprived children and for their perception about the deprived children. NCTF made a publication on the event highlighting the conditions and problems of the deprived children.

Later in 2008, NCTF members donated all their money that they received for refreshment in their meetings, to the school theatre team of Shoilmari Primary school under Batiaghata Upazilla of Khulna district for undertaking cultural program at the school that was conducted on 14th April 2008 on the occasion of Bengali New Years Day.

This was generous action of the NCTF members for the cause of child rights and they were quite happy for the action. NCTF members Supta, Rabeya, Mofij, Shathi and Ratna said, “We are filling well by assembling with the rights deprived child. We hope to be with the children and work for ensuring basic rights of the children.

Child Led Development Project

Project Goal: Enhance Children Capacity to enjoy their rights through raising their voice and establishing networking at appropriate level

Project Objectives:

Building community awareness on Child rights/Protection through effective communication Enhance children’s potential and develop organizational capacity Ensure children’s participation in development initiatives Strengthening capacity of Union Parishad on child rights Enhance Community Based Organization’s capacity on Child rights and Protection

Project Area:

6 Unions of Hatibandha Upazilla under Lalmonirhat District. The Unions are: Nawdabash, Gotamary, Borokhata, Singimary, Tongbanga, Valaguri.

Project Duration April-2008 June 2010

Project Staff: 12 persons including 8 field staff

Project Activities:

Training on Child protection Life skill training for children group/CBO Development of Community Organization and Union Children forum District level networking for child protection Advocacy workshop on child trafficking Training on Psychosocial protection and care for the children Child theatre group development and theatre performance Drama and POT demonstration for awareness on child rights and protection Organizing child theatre camps for developing child theatre activities at the grassroots level Dialogue meeting with teachers/Parents/School Management Committee/Local elite/ Union Parishad for establishing enabling environment for children and ensuring child rights as well as quality education Yearly children fair Child to Child workshop Development of Upazilla level Children resource team and workshop Project Impact:

150 children’s group developed at the grassroots level Capacity development enhanced for 38 CBOs 6 Children cultural team developed in 6 Union 6 Union Parishads play supportive roles for ensuring child rights Children show their involvement in decision making process 82 School management committee are supportive to child rights and quality education Union based cultural teams produced adequate drama package on Child Rights 6 Union level Shishu (child) forum developed and that are functional in taking care for child rights violations Learning

Children are creative provided they get opportunity and favourable environment Children can get involved in decision making if scope and authority is provided Most of the children do not get enabling environment for their proper development Schools and parents play important roles for child development through support and encouragement Funding: Plan International Bangladesh.