A first week report by volunteers of “Health on Stage” Camp held at Mysore / Bangalore scheduled for 6th to 26th August, 2012.
“Health on Stage” is an initiative that intends to promote public health dialogue among community people on water and health issues using Forum Theater. On the 6th of august, 11 volunteers from Taiwan, Germany, Spain and France arrived in Mysore to share three weeks with each other. They are helped by 3 Indian team leaders (Dinesh, Bharathi and Arun), 2 specialists in Forum Theater and FSL-India team.
Our team leader Dinesh knows hundreds of motivational games to make us know each other. And what a better way than having fun together! Those games helped us break the ice and made us grow as a team, ready to experience incredible India! As it is first time for everybody in India, it was necessary for us to get Cultural Orientation. Mrs. Vandana, the work camp communicator of FSL-India taught us the Life Skills
What Forum Theater is all about? In few words, Forum Theater is an interactive way of making a group of people aware of their problems that affect their life. After Forum Theater is performed, the audience gets the opportunity to participate actively by acting on the stage and try to find viable solution to their problems. Most importantly we are not here to give the solution but to show people that they have the solution
Now, let’s do it! At first, we were all shy and hesitant to act in front of each other. We managed get out of the shyness and started acting cows and mosquitoes. What an improvement and only in three days!
Here in India, it’s all about dancing – to get the people to come to our performances, Mr. Chakrapani, our Forum Theater specialist teaches us some dances and rhythms. In the beginning we felt shy. However, dance made us to be together. We are all amazed to see how much we can share and understand from the body language of the teacher who doesn’t speak English.
It’s time to see the world – with the team of FSL-India and Forum Theater specialist, we go to a slum and village to meet people and collect information about their water and sanitation conditions. We were worried and a bit scared of going to villages. “What are we going to see, discover, face and hear? We were constantly hounded by this question. Even if it was not easy for everyone to go to the slums, we all agree that the people were kind, smiling, welcoming and enthusiastic to meet us. They spoke quite easily about their problems. After two visits, we felt that we have seen India. This phase of the work is the Social Mapping which is an important phase of Health on Stage.
Last step before performing – having conducted social mapping, we all meet to write the script we intend to perform. We realized how hard it is to write a script. First of all we don’t have to give the solutions we think are the ones and secondly we are an international group with different way of working and thinking. Anyway, we made it and we found that all the games and sessions we learnt really helped us do it great and be creative. Now we are on a week-end break and we are looking forward to perform next week.
Every week, we will give you information on how the project is going on and the most striking moments we are sharing together and with the local community. We hope you’ll enjoy following us in our journey and this project would give you the will to act in the same way.
Volunteers of Health on Stage
Loire Mathilde, Pauline de Bortoli, Marion König, Antoine Retours, Jing Huei Huang, Lluís Martinez, Marie Acard, Katia Gianfermi, Clara Muñoz Serdà, Caroline Seifert and Dominik Holdau