This week we performed our first street drama in Jalouszie neighborhood of Petion-Ville. The hillside neighborhood is home to some 200,000 people with a high level of sexual violence. The neighborhood has no clinic and relies on a few resident nurses and midwives to provide health services for residents. The pharmacy belonging to FASA member Fleurantin Marie Enise acts as one central point for health services where she and a few local nurses provide residents with advice and non-prescription drugs. There is only one narrow road running through Jalouzi with market traders parked on either side. The small patch of concrete outside the pharmacy therefore provided us with a small space in which to perform our play and allow for space for an audience to watch.
Prior to the play we made announcements and members of FASA and SOPU Fanm Pou Fanm, sang and danced to encourage passers by to stay and watch the play. Altogether we counted 38 people at various times. We had hoped for more but the location was a difficult one. The play lasted about 15 minutes and centered on the issue of Restavek children who come from poor homes usually in the countryside to work for middle and upper class Haitians. There is a history of physical, psychological and sexual abuse of Restevek children which was highlighted in the play. After the play there were some more songs around VAW and we were pleased that we did have questions from the audience.
The event lasted about 90 minutes and we want to congratulate all the participants, including Jalouzi residents for bringing the play together and the performance. We hope as time goes by we will improve but this was an excellent beginning.
Working on the princeip of “you don’t have to be a slave in order to eat, if you are hungry you should be able to eat” [Selma James] we have made it a priority to feed ourselves, to nourish our spirits and bodies. Many of the students are food insecure and even where there is daily food it is invariably solely carbohydrates. We therefore choose to provide a more balanced diet which includes protein and carbohydrates other than rice such as sweet potato, yam and plantains. We also believe it is important to feed those who work with us and help make the project a success such as our chauffeurs and school guardians.
Next Saturday we will perform in the Bobin area of Puggy Ville also in Petion-Ville.