4th Nawah Community Arts Festival Attends Distinguished Theatrical Performances

The Nawah Community Arts Festival concluded its activities on December 16 with a ceremony attended by Ismail El Far, Director of the Central Administration for Training and Projects, on behalf of Ashraf Sobhy, Minister of Youth and Sports; Nada Naja, UNFPA Reproductive Health Specialist; Tobias Krause, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation in Egypt; and representatives of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, the Embassy of Canada and the Etijah Youth and Development Consultancy Institute.

The festival was launched on November 21 and featured 13 theatrical productions in addition to musical performances in Cairo, Qena and Minya. It aimed to raise awareness and highlight the main role that community theater plays in development.

The festival hosted performances by theater troupes from Luxor, Damietta, Red Sea, Assiut, Minya, Beni Suef, Cairo, Suez, Gizeh, Sharqeya, Kafr El-Sheikh, Menoufiya and Fayoum – addressing different population issues such as family planning, FGM, and child marriage – as well as musical performances by the group Shamandoura.

For the first time, applications were open to independent theater troupes to participate in the fourth round of the festival, alongside Nawah’s teams.

The performances were evaluated by a panel of experts, who assessed how they approached a community issue, interacted with the audience as well as the artistic aspects of the performance.

The closing of the festival comes as part of the activities to commemorate the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. UNFPA, the EU, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, the Embassy of Canada and the Embassy of Norway are committed to addressing violence against women by involving communities, especially women. young people, through different activities.

With the support of a grant of 27 million euros, EU support for Egypt’s national population strategy encourages young people and those of childbearing age to increase the use of voluntary and evidence-based family planning. rights.

The closing show, “Another Life,” depicts different forms of violence, including domestic violence, sexual harassment and FGM. The young protagonists imagined a world free from all these forms of violence.

“Embedding population issues in these entertaining and powerful performances by young volunteers ensures that the messages resonate within communities,” said UNFPA representative in Egypt, Frederika Meijer. “Let us count on young people to pave the way for the achievement of the 2030 agenda.”

“The EU, in partnership with UNFPA, proudly supports Egypt’s quest to balance population growth with available natural resources, thereby meeting the public’s aspirations for a better future,” Krause said.

“It was very instructive for me to see, with my own eyes, the Community Arts Festival organized in the governorate of Qena,” said HE Louis Dumas, Ambassador of Canada to Egypt. “Edutainment education created by young people, implemented by young people and for young people in rural communities is the best way to have an impact on major development challenges such as population issues. “

“These are the kinds of initiatives that will bring about positive and lasting change and ultimately end violence against women and girls,” said Norwegian Ambassador Hilde Klemetsdal. . “

“We express our warmest thanks to the group of young people who came to Cairo from all over Egypt to share their own stories and perspectives on family life and gender-based violence, and to show us how to fight in innovative ways. against gender stereotypes, ”said Martino Melli. , head of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Cairo.

He continued, “We are really proud to support such activities as concrete activist action during these 16 days of awareness raising on violence against women”.

The Nawah and Shamandoura teams are part of the UNFPA population awareness project, in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Etijah.

Population awareness clubs operate in different youth centers across the country, where they organize population awareness activities for young people using innovative tools including music, interactive theater and short films. Activities aim to raise awareness of gender-based violence, family planning and harmful practices.

Nawah’s performances are the result of workshops organized with the help of Zad’s artistic team, who trained volunteers in the development of scripts and theatrical songs to educate their communities about various issues, including mutilation. genitalia, family planning and gender-based violence.

Seventeen theater groups were formed in public awareness clubs in 17 governorates across Egypt.

The festival also highlights the role community theater plays in development and the effect of the arts on behavior change. It also enables young people to contribute to the challenges facing their communities.

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