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OYO addresses gender violence in Karas Region through dance

OYO addresses gender violence in Karas Region through dance

The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO), one of the beneficiaries of the MTC Knock-Out project fundraising initiative is currently in Oranjemund, Karas Region on a mission to address gender violence.

The OYO dance troupe is performing in schools and communities in the Karas region this week.

According to OYO Director, Philippe Talavera, the Karas region has been selected because of the many reported cases – and probably even more non-reported cases – of violence in the region.

“It is a region where unemployment is high, where there’s little to no recreational activities for young people and where most programs don’t operate. Distances are huge: yesterday we travelled from Luderitz to Oranjemund, stopping in Rosh Pina to perform at the school. We can’t take shortcuts: we have to travel all those kilometres. We have to reach people,” Talavera said.

However, the main objective is not to do business as usual, and this trip is part of a bigger initiative of OYO and the organisation wants to create a dialogue with young people and communities, so that they can tell us what to do and more importantly they can implement the change themselves, he added.

According to him, learners in the region will participate in discussions with the dance troupe. Later, boys and girls will be invited to attend camps. Back at their schools, they will prepare their own messages through community dialogues between the youth and adults. Similarly in Windhoek, OYO will have community dialogues around performances of the dance troupe on 10 and 11 March, he added

Meanwhile the OYO dance troupe will perform three pieces: ‘the Moirai’, a repertoire piece following a young woman in an abusive situation who decides to take her life back in her hand, ‘Concrete Angels’, a piece that has been revamped looking at a young boy living in a house where violence is the norm and ‘Let me be’, a brand new piece looking at sexual exploitation of children due to poverty.

“We are lucky to have renowned performer Monray Garoeb back with the dance troupe. He is well-known for his part in ‘Salute!’ and people in the Karas region love him and listen to him. The various pieces are led by Desmond Kamerika, Mary Jane Andreas, Monray Garoeb, El Junita Philander, Jeffrey Ndjahera and Frieda Hausiku, with Osyrin Puteho, Sophie Janser and trainees Rick Gawanab and Jordan Thomas in supporting roles. All pieces have been choreographed by Philippe Talavera. A youth counsellor is present on spot to attend to cases,” Talavera said.

Apart from MTC, the initiative is made possible with assistance from Debmarine/Namdeb Foundation and FNB Foundation.

Caption: El Junita in ‘Moirai’


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

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