Best practices: promoting behavioural changes in Togolese communities through theatre performances, stories, and songs
The Reflection Group of Friends for Human Development (GRADH) (a Togolese non-profit organization created in August 2004) is encouraging the Togolese to change their behaviour through stories, songs and theatre performances on the streets.
Their strategy is to go to the people in the streets, public places, markets, churches, mosques, and schools with key messages conveyed via a script. The audience learns from the messages contained in the sketches, stories or songs, all while laughing. The themes addressed in the performances include the prevention of STIs/HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, waterborne diseases, the consequences of open defecation, the importance of vaccination, among others.
In addition to health topics, cultural groups also address themes such as peacebuilding, the culture of non-violence, living together, resilience and adaptation to the effects of climate change, educating girls and the role of women in the management of public affairs.
To ensure this communication with the Togolese populations, GRADH promotes the establishment and training of members of theatre, dance and storytelling groups. This community communication strategy for behaviour change (CCBC) involves several cultural groups in Africa, including Benin, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Congo Brazzaville, Mali, and Niger. They often participate alongside theatre companies from France, Germany, Denmark, and the USA in campaigns or festivals organized in Togo by GRADH for this purpose.