On May 18th, the conference of Forum Theater clubs, established in WFD NGO beneficiary communities, took place. The conference had the goal of summarizing the activities of the Forum Theater clubs implemented during the last year as well as sharing successes, challenges and gained results. Representatives of rural administration bodies, school principals, club leaders and schoolchildren from the beneficiary communities, as well as WFD NGO staff participated in the conference.
Forum Theater club members from all beneficiary communities prepared interesting and unique performances, during which they also reflected on the positive changes which occurred as the result of the activities of the clubs. Courage, self-confidence, leadership, artistic ability, willingness to listen and to understand a different perspective, ability to express themselves, friendship, empathy – these are the newly acquired skills and achievements, which were listed by the schoolchildren.
In their speeches, children also reflected on the changes, which took place in the behavior of community members after attending their performances. Tsoghamarg Forum Theater club members shared: “When we decided to raise the issue of the equal usage of water supply in the village for the first time, we were afraid of not being understood by our community members, however, surprisingly, after the performance many things have changed among both the grown-ups and the children, who started to pay more attention to the water usage and making sure that their neighbors also get the chance to use the water. This was very motivating for us, and we started to raise other issues of our concern. However, the most interesting thing is that during the performance, the audience members immediately recognize themselves and say – yes, this is me; or – oh, that is my neighbor!”.
Gohar Markosyan addressed her thank you remarks to the club leaders and club members for very interesting performances, and mentioned: “Through observing the club activities and the results that we have today, I am happy to say that Forum Theater clubs have reached our goal, which was raising community issues and trying to find their solutions as the result of joint discussions with the community members. Our biggest task was making sure that children and youth are also able to recognize the issues existing in their communities and to actively participate in the resolution of these issues, and today I am happy to say that this goal is achieved”. Gohar Markosyan emphasized and highly valued village mayors’ and school principals’ constant attention to the clubs and their willingness to do all they can for resolving the issues being raised by community youth.