An all-female theatre group from the Solomon Islands will be heading to Europe for the first time.
The group, Stages of Change, carry out awareness through theatrical performances on issues of violence against women. It is with the hope that through this medium, they can influence behavioural change amongst people.
The 14-member group will see six of its participants leaving next month to perform at the European Development Days, in Brussels, with funding from European Union.
EDD promotes knowledge sharing, networking for key players in development and creative thinking by organising meetings. This is a way in which member states of the European Union and citizens contribute to improving the impact of international aid for people around the world.
Ingrid Leary, British Council NZ Country Director, in an interview with ABC Australia last year said, the topic of gender-based violence is sensitive so theatre was a creative way of getting people involved and understanding the whole issue, instead of reading about it or being told about it.
Supporting Leary, Stages of Change Project Coordinator, Lanieta Leo, said, “The women feel they have a big responsibility to eliminate violence against women as a group.
“They believe that using theatre is a great way to do it. Most of our people here are illiterate, […] so to act on the stage it sends out a very powerful message.”
Stages of Change is part of a British Council project that was initiated two years ago to look into the issue of violence against women.