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U-Report Zambia

Barefeet Theatre

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Barefeet Theatre

Barefeet Theatre
© UNICEF Zambia/2010/Nesbitt
Barefeet Theatre led a street carnival parade in Lusaka with child delegates from the UNICEF Netherlands-supported Zambian Children’s Climate Conference in 2010.

UNICEF Zambia since 2010 has been a close partner and supporter of Barefeet Theatre. The two organizations entered into a formal agreement in 2011 and since then UNICEF Zambia has provided more than US$150,000 to Barefeet to support the Barefeet Youth Arts Festivals in 2011 and 2012 (which exposes thousands of disadvantaged children to the arts), as well as for the NGO to conduct theatre for development workshops and trainings for UNICEF Netherlands-supported child ambassadors and other students at secondary and basic schools in all of Zambia's 10 provinces, reaching thousands of Zambian children with lifesaving and changing messages on life-skills, HIV and AIDS, and climate change awareness.

Barefeet Theatre is a creative arts and performance project staged, rehearsed and presented mainly, though not exclusively, by children on, or formerly on, the streets of Zambia.

The project uses theatre, art, dance, music, and creative writing as a tool to engage with and support the development of children most at risk of disengaging from their communities. Barefeet offers them an opportunity to have their voices heard.

Barefeet Theatre
© UNICEF Zambia/2013/Smith
Barefeet Theatre perform a skit highlighting the importance of child health during the Promise Renewed launch in Lusaka.

Barefeet enables children to be children and to discuss topics or issues they feel important and ultimately allows them to showcase their talent while providing them with dignity and worth.

The overall goal of Barefeet is to prevent children from living on the streets and the organization works with its partners to assist in the shared goal of moving children on the street to a safer environment. Barefeet Theatre will be profiled soon on CNN International’s “African Voices.”

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