Junior Writers Reporting

Hiroshima NPO and theatre company in Palestine seek to provide emotional support to Palestinian children

Peace Builders, an NPO based in Naka Ward, Hiroshima, and “Yes Theatre,” a theatre company working in Palestine, have joined forces on a project to provide emotional support to Palestinian children.

In Palestine, with the people’s lives under threat by Israel, children don’t have the freedom to play outside. They are at risk of being jailed or finding themselves or a loved one at the point of a gun. As a result, there is growing stress among the Palestinian children.

Mohammad Issa, 32, is the leader of “Yes Theatre.” He told us, “Moving around freely, without fear or restrictions, this is the dream of the Palestinian people.”

The project makes good use of role playing, a central element of drama. The adults encourage the children who take part to express themselves freely and feel compassion for others.

Eight junior writers took part in a session of the project’s work, led by Mr. Issa. We were divided into two groups, and then each group tried to convey certain electrical appliances to the other group, without words, and guesses were made. We also formed pairs and joined hands, then walked together with our eyes closed. Working together, we had the chance to let our imagination create freely, and we learned the importance of having trust in our partners.

The project is training 111 people in Palestine in these techniques, including school teachers and social workers. The participants can then spread what they have learned with children in their schools and places of work. (Yumi Kimura, 16)

(Originally published on March 11, 2013)