Know Your Rights, Uganda

Feb 19, 2021

Community members in Uganda were inspired to start the “Know Your Rights Campaign” after Asante Africa Foundation’s Monitoring and Evaluation team shared program objectives to raise awareness on adolescents’ rights and how they can use the knowledge to end teenage pregnancy, early child marriages, and gender-based violence in their communities. A team was formed to implement Theatre for Development, a participatory practice that utilizes our unique LEARN-DO-TEACH model to ensure participants retained more knowledge by being actively involved. The goal was to engage the community in a dialogue on civic participation, responsibilities, identify and analyze community needs, and plan collective action towards increasing children’s rights and how to prevent early marriages, teenage pregnancy, and gender-based violence.

Community members who participated included youth and adults as they fulfilled the role of being both the audiences and the actors. Local government leaders, facilitators, parents, and teachers all contributed to help guide the process while participants wrote their own stories to perform. One of the highlights of the community-based activity was being able to bridge the gap between elders and youth by allowing them to share their views.

The activity had a strong impact on everyone. Many of the adolescents expressed that they didn’t fully understand all of their rights and were even using them wrongly but at the end of the campaign, they felt more confident in their ability to exercise their rights. All of the participants shared that they found it easy to learn and understand the knowledge because of the Theatre for Development approach, and some had discovered they had hidden talents. They shared their ideas and experiences, pitched them into a story, performed them, and received feedback and questions afterward. The participants all gained essential skills such as communication, decision-making, and time management, which all provided a boost in their overall confidence levels.

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