Sophia CheseÂ Arts Correspondent
In its quest to educate children through theatre, Patsime Trust has embarked on a national tour that is targeting pupils in primary and secondary schools.Â The tour is set to educate children on prevention of the spread of HIV amongst young people, dangers of abuse of drugs and prevention of teenage pregnancies.Â In an interview with The Herald Entertainment, Patsime Trust Director Jason Mphepo said the project uses serialised plays to address different issues that affect children.
âThe plays tackles issues such as peer pressure and peer support in prevention, care and the reduction of stigma and discrimination.
âThey also address child abuse and how it is linked with the spread of HIV .
âIn relation to the gender issues, the project encourages recognition of equality between the girls and boys within the school setting in curriculum and extra curriculum activities. The activities have assumed a slant on dealing with culturally-constructed gender inequalities that have disadvantaged young girls over time,â he said.
He said the project reaches out to over 3 600 young people who are in selected schools across the country.
âThis year alone we have managed to visit schools in Harare, Masvingo and Bulawayo and we are going to Marondera today, Chinhoyi and Karoi in the coming weeks, then later we shall be going to other centres as well,â he said.
He added that the project has given young children the platform to express themselves freely and be confident of themselves in their lives.
âYoung people have been able to express themselves and at the same time found a friendly platform where they can ask questions, get answers and debate on different issues affecting them as they grow into adulthood, and being responsible citizens as wellâ he said.
The interactive nature of the project through the use of theatre and games as well as post performance, discussions and debates have allowed the students to identify with issues raised by the project.
Patsimeredu Edutainment has had a very good working relationship with the targeted schools with the project having been supported by the education Ministry over the past 12 years.