Herat uses drama to explore the war’s impact on civilians
HERAT - The rights and well-being of civilians in wartime were brought to life through recent drama performances in Herat.
Hundreds of students and teachers at three high Herat schools engaged with a different kind of learning provided by the Herat Film and Theatre group. The troupe used drama to highlight the impact of the conflict on communities, as well as create awareness on the shared responsibilities of teachers, parents, and the community to protect children from recruitment, abuse and grave-violations.
“I found the performance to be very informative, especially on how to avoid some of the dangers when going to school,” said Hajar, a student at Malika Jalali high school, commenting on a performance which touched on safety issues around landmines and unexploded ordinance.
Herat mirrors other provinces in the country effected by the conflict, and it’s an incalculable socio-economic impact on communities and families, particularly women and children. Most cannot access health services, education or find employment, with many being pushed deeper into poverty.
UNAMA’s 2018 Protection of Civilians Midyear Report, covering the period 1 January to 30 September 2018, recorded 8,050 civilian casualties of which 2,136 were children (653 deaths and 1,483 injured).
“The conflict harms everyone in Afghanistan, it is not solving any problems,” said performer Norollah Kawish, during an interactive session with the students. “We want to send a message and appeal to all the parties to the conflict to end the war,” he said.
UNAMA’s regional office in Herat supported the theatre performances as part of a countrywide outreach programme aimed at creating opportunities and spaces for local communities to engage in dialogue and discuss critical issues affecting them.