Joseph Munyambaza is going to study pre med at Westminster College in Missouri USA. He has a partial scholarship and the additional fees have been met by donors inspired by his story. What is delightful about this news is three things - Joseph is a refugee and has been in the Kyangwali refugee camp Northern Uganda, since he was 6 years old; he decided to study medicine after his sister from malaria with her unborn child (she was 7 months pregnant and was denied medical help because she was a refugee and could not pay for it) and despite setbacks Joseph has never wavered from his purpose; and people in Wales played a part in Joseph’s achievement.
Of course it is completely down to his own hard work and self belief but when Joseph did a workshop with Theatre versus Oppression (TvO) founder Jennifer Hartley and saw the possibilities of applying her techniques to the community in the camp, a connection was made. Convinced the work would help to build a community in a camp of over 25 000 people, Joseph was determined to get TvO to the Camp and he did - it’s an ongoing commitment that began in 2009.
Everyone who took part in our What Happened Next? project; who came to the fundraisers, training workshops, those who sponsor an orphan’s education in our Right To Learn scheme in the Camp; all the actors, directors and members of the audience and funders who support the work of TvO, they all made an impression on Joseph who wrote to us to say how much our support had helped and inspired him to follow his dreams.
Two years ago I wrote a blog considering the question: Can Performance Change the World? Hearing Joseph’s news gives me hope that it can do more than that.
For more information www.theatreversusoppression.com
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