Chrysalis Youth Empowerment Network

Drama will help save children’s lives in Uganda – Charles, aged 14

My name is Obuk Charles. I am a member of Butterfly project but from Northern part of Uganda so by me coming from Northern, I am among Butterfly North.  I am one of the member who comes from the disadvantaged rural areas of Northern Uganda. I joined this project last year in February after passing the interview and the project brought me to Kampala as a project member.

I have started my project which is known as the Butterfly Drama project and the first subject that I wrote a play about it was Street Kids.  There are no street kids in the villages I comes from, but on visiting Kampala I saw many children sleeping on the pavements and felt that I wanted to do something about it.  I used what I knew about – drama – to develop a play, which we performed on our stage and I even was able to make use of the masks we made to portray the adults that take advantage of the children or cause them to run away from home.

My Streetkids Play cast

This project was successful though we had some obstacles. I faced the problem of recruiting members for this project since they could not easily accept because of English speaking but I managed to recruit them. Another problem was instruments. Drama needs some instruments like Drums, Wears and many others but since I had no one to sponsor this Drama project, it has been very difficult for me. Lack some of rewards to give to the members who had devoted themselves to participate in this Drama project, you know this kids likes rewards after some thing being done like soap, and some refreshments like food and drinks. Since we did not have all those, they could not come in huge number that I needed.

And this time as I toured around, I found out that misuse or mistreatment of children’s rights is the most common acts being practiced in almost every part of Uganda and this made me to write another two plays of which one is about Children’s rights and the other one is about Child sacrifice. The videos for these will be posted in another blog.

CHILDREN’S RIGHTS DRAMA PLAY

Children possess a number of rights that they are suppose to be given the freedom to enjoy their rights. But the case children in Uganda are being denied from rights especially in rural areas. Such rights that the Children possess but they are being denied from are;-

  1. Right for medical care.

Children needs right for good medical care when they felt sick. They are suppose to be taken to hospital and get treatments but you find some that some parents fails to take their children to hospital and they wait for sickness to become worse ant they start rushing to hospital which is too late. This case is common with Guidance who are taking care of their relative’s children.

2. Right to interact with others.

Children interacting with themselves playing football

Young children deserves to have right to play with their friends so that they learn more things as they discuss and become social to people so that they do not have the heart of selfishness. In rural areas in Uganda, this is not the case. Some parents keep their children indoor and give them harsh punishments for going to the friends which sound so awkward but what I do to at least stop this act is by writing a play that we act to show parents that what they are wrong and so they can learn from this play and change and start doing right things.

Girl locked up and lonely

These are the children enjoying football play with their friends but the below are the children being kept indoors and denied not to interact with others.

This girl is locked up in the gate and she is lonely.

3. Right for education – I have written a play and produced a video about this and this will be posted soon.

4. Right to eat.  In villages children are told to eat what they are given, even if it is mouldy or full of maggots.  If they don’t eat, then they are starved.

All the above rights are supposed to enjoyed by them but you find that parents and leaders are mistreating such rights.

When I was investigating for more clarification on this issue, I found out that many children are not going to schools which is not case but it was happening before and that is why I came up with my Blog with the title ‘Hearing the Voices of Rural Children in Africa’ because they are not enjoying their rights any more. They are mistreated in many ways which among them includes;-

Denial for education, Child hard labor, Forceful sex which leads to early pregnancy. To highlights more on the early pregnancy, in villages, parents force their children especially girls to get married early so that they can get some money which can help them leading to act of abortion and death some time.

So I wrote this play so that as we act, people can at least watch and pick some informations and realize that what they were doing were wrong and change their life style by looking at their children’s rights as an important thing and start caring for their children and also this play inform the local leaders that it is good for them to start decampaigning. on mistreatment of children’s rights as we indicated it in the play that I wrote.

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