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Cultural dialogue goes beyond East Africa Cup

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Cultural dialogue goes beyond East Africa Cup

Now that the week in Moshi is over, what happens during the rest of the year? In Haydom, a diverse and unique community with inhabitants representing all four main ethno linguistic groups in Africa, CHRISC shares with sportanddev the work they are doing to promote modern day cultural understanding through sport.


Youth involved in CHRISC programmes in Haydom, recently joined a communitiy initiative called '4 Cultural Corner Programme (4CCP),' a body which represents Cushitic, Bantu, Nilotic and Khoisan cultures in the community. 

Jared Ochieng, CHRISC Haydom Project Officer, explains the difficulties young people in Haydom face because of the divides in opinion over preserving culture and modern day influences which affect youth in community:

"We have to be careful in approaching this programme and look at what issues need to be addressed. For example, when girls play sport, they wear short skirts which goes against the culture and as a result, girls do not have the same rights to participate in sport." 

Tunaweza - We can!
To address this inbalance, the Tunaweza programme which targets mostly girls, brings young people together to discuss what challenges exist and how best to overcome them whilst evolving the community at large. "We need unity and one voice to represent youth. We are using music, dance and theatre to teach people," said Jared. 

'Magnet theatre' is an improvisation group of young volunteers who use freeze-frame-scenarios (pausing a performance at certain points), to discuss with the audience of parents and elders in the community, how the performcance can continue. By using visual methods, the group can educate and interact with community members to promote the problems and solutions of everyday scenarios.   

The impact of using youth as a vehicle for change
With youth at the forefront of this initiative, they play an active role in the community both on and away from the field. "CHRISC has started football, netball and volleyball activities at the local hospital for staff, patients and the community. As leaders we hold activities which bring people together," explains Jared. "We are building under sixteen youth as leaders so that they can build ideas and gain knowledge which can benefit the people of Haydom. The programme is also a way to promote dialogue between different cultural groups, using the knowledge one has about plants could help others," he continues. 

The impact of EAC
"Youth from Haydom are coming to Moshi and exchanging ideas on how we do things, how we communicate and gives them exposure. It gives them the opportunity to showcase their talent and potential and hearing other people cheering for them builds their self-esteem, which is especially important for girls," explains Jared.  

"The seminars we are attending teach us about how we can deal with the challenges we are facing and these are the tools we can take back to our community and talk to parents and mobilse other youth to show them who CHRISC are and their potential and dreams." 

Cultural teams at this year's EAC were also given the opportunity to take their performances to the streets of Moshi and share their culture and promote the union of sports, culture and education available at the regional tournament. 

Find out more about EAC 2012

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Article type

News

Author

Mel Paramasivan

Published

Monday, July 2, 2012 - 23:00