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A scene from one of the theatre performances A scene from one of the theatre performances

AfC 'wrestles' early and forced marriage in Somanya Featured

Written by  Feb 15, 2017
Act for Change (AfC), a non-governmental organization has a led the campaign against child, early and forced marriage at Somanya, Eastern Region. The project dubbed ‘’Using Interactive Theatre to Change Behaviour and Prevent Early and Forced Marriage,’’ was aimed at reducing CEFM in Somanya with a population of over 20, 000. The project involved behavior change workshops, theatre training, stakeholder meetings, community theatre performances among other activities. The project which was funded by Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) the organization noted went well as the outcome and objectives for the project was met. A release by the organization said: ‘’Act for Change aims to help in the reduction of CEFM in Somanya, a town of 20,000 people in the Eastern Region of Ghana. It seeks to use interactive theatre as a tool to create awareness on the adverse effects of CEFM on the girls, youth and whole community. Aside from engaging traditional leaders and parents, the group will also build the capacity of the youth to use theatre as a way of changing behaviour and development in their own community. Through the intervention, AfC will form a Child Protection Committee together with the leaders of the community, to sustain the protection of children.’’ The release added, ‘’Ideally, we were to complete 10 behaviour change workshops, 5 theatre trainings, 10 Interactive theatre performances, 2 community and stakeholders meetings, 2 committee/task force meetings, 2 radio interviews and 1 flash mob.  The above activities were effectively executed by the project team members, below are the numbers of audience reached via our project activities.’’ Early Marriage is a marriage that occurs before a person reaches the age of consent 18 years. Also known as child marriage, it is the practice where one or both spouses are below the age of 18. Forced Marriage is marriage that occurs without the expressed consent of either one or both of the parties. Usually, the party whose consent is not sought is the girl and she is usually forced or coerced into marriage although some boys can be affected by this practice.   Act for Change focuses on using forum theatre as an advocacy tool in order to address the daily abuse of rights experienced by the youth in our community. While Ghana has had a reported success in bringing down HIV rate through education and advocacy, in communities such as James Town teenagers and other young people are particularly vulnerable to relationship and domestic violence, HIV and AIDS and other STIs and Human Rights Abuses.     The  mission of the organization is to effect behaviour change and improve the quality of life using the tool of forum theatre to communicate social developmental concerns.
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