1400 Participated in Yat Madit Intercultural Dialogues

Description 

The intercultural dialogues were held between January 16th and February 17, 2017 in each of the three regions of Acholi, Lango, Teso and Karamoja. Ethnic groups watched and discussed issues depicted in the episodes. The participants also debated on alternative solutions to the problems and how they can be implemented in their communities. The dialogue in each location hosted at least 80 people per screening. In most of the cases most people attended the screenings for five weeks in order to consistently follow the 13 episode story. In every region, at least three meetings took place every week reaching 1400 people.

Some tribes that previously had little interaction or regarded each other with suspicion, were able to speak openly and work together to respond to the challenges in their community during these meetings. Therefore the dialogue sessions offered an intercultural platform for communities to solve issues. The participants identified issues such as stigimatization of returnees,child labor, domestic violence, land conflict, and stereotyping from the drama then discussed possible solutions. For instance, in regard to land wrangles some of the solutions suggested by the participants include; consulting with elders before land is sold, and introduction of by-laws to guide communities in case of sale of land. In the case of alcoholism there was call for more jobs for young people, by-laws against the sale of alcohol packaged in sachets among other solutions. On the rights of the women, clan leaders should help to spearhead the advancement of women’s rights. The intercultural dialogues were the first of their kind in all these communities across Acholi, Lango, Teso and Karamoja. The use of the drama series as a tool for peace building was received positively across these regions as a unique approach to conflict resolution.

 

‘’I have been working in peace building and conflict resolution for 4 years. It was the first time I was incorporating drama in a dialogue, and this made it very easy to communicate. We can practically send the message across by acting and showing the reality to our people, and they will change. All this by artistically using a combination of drama and dialogue’’- CSO representative in Acholi region.

In some locations, participants committed to continue to work together to further deal with the challenges that their communities were facing. For example in Lakwana sub-county in Omoro district, Acholi region, a Yat Madit community has been initiated by the youths in that area. The Yat Madit community, which comprises at least 41 members, sensitizes and raises awareness on conflict resolution approaches and on other post conflict challenges through drama and dialogue. 

A drama series for social change: Building peace and reconciliation in Northern Uganda through film and dialogue