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SCT in South Sudan Refugee Camp

The SCT Centre has started a Social and Community Theatre project at the Bentiu Protection of Civilians site, the biggest refugee camp in South Sudan, where approximately 120,000 evacuees are living. This project is part of the Psychosocial and Peacekeeping Mission planned by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The SCT Centre team is composed of Emanuela Pietraforte and Francesca Longo, who left Italy three weeks ago. They have begun the first phase of the project and send us the following reflections which we share with you.

Our adventure in South Sudan has just begun. We arrived in Bentiu two weeks ago, and now we are in Unity State, one of the biggest refugee camps in the world with around 110,000 inhabitants. IOM staff has welcomed us and we have recognised that our colleagues are from many continents: Asia, Europe and Africa. Finding a common working language is a challenge that we are overcoming step by step. Meanwhile, we have visited the camp, initially with the aim of identifying its complexity and mapping existing activities. At first glance, the Nuer population seems lively: they are always ready to show us their art, dance and singing skills and traditions. Finally, the first rainstorms are marking the beginning of the rainy season.

In a nutshell, the SCT Centre initiative consists of the following work phases which employ a standard methodology:

1. Mapping the existing activities in the camp, as there are many groups already involved in arts-related projects;

2. Conducting social theatre activities with groups of refugees that have been identified during the mapping process. The objective of the workshops is to promote the wellbeing of participants, focusing on the situation of women and multicultural dialogue;

3. Organising a community event with the groups that have been involved in SCT activities at the end of July.