United States Government Prepares Youth Leaders for Local Conflict Prevention

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Youth Theater for Peace project will hold a public performance November 6 at 1:30pm on at the Dostuk Hotel (429 Frunze). This performance will demonstrate Drama through Conflict Transformation practices, which help youth to understand and resolve conflict both in their communities and at the national level.  All groups or individuals interested in the use of theater for community dialogue are invited to attend.   

This event marks the culmination of USAID’s four-year Youth Theater for Peace project, implemented by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), which has supported drama clubs at 33 schools in Batken, Chui, Naryn, and Talas oblasts.  Through over 500 performances for 30,000 audience members, the project has advanced sustainable peace promotion at the community level by encouraging changes in attitudes and behaviors among young people. The methodology uses theater to engage community members in identifying solutions to local problems. Topics examined in these performances include school racketeering, alcoholism, migration, and bride kidnapping.

Nearly 98% of young participants have reported confidence in their ability to positively affect conflict situations in their community, compared to about 31% among students who have not received these trainings. Erzhan Kubat-uulu, a student at School #6 in Talas, described his experience: “I used to be kind of a problem kid. My parents were often asked to come to school because of my behavior. I invited my parents to come see one of our drama performances. Afterward, I felt for the first time that they were not ashamed because of me -- they were proud.”

More information about the Youth Theater for Peace Project is available on the IREX website: http://www.irex.org/project/youth-theater-peace.  Project participants in Kyrgyzstan formed an NGO, the Union of Trainers and Consultants of Forum Theater, to continue their work spreading theater for conflict resolution throughout Kyrgyzstan.  Updates from the Union of Trainers and Consultants of Forum Theater are available here: https://www.facebook.com/ATIK.YTP

Last updated: July 01, 2014

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