What is S.A.F.E.?
S.A.F.E. is a Kenyan NGO and UK charity that uses the performing arts and community programmes to educate, inspire and deliver social change.
S.A.F.E.’s follow-up community programmes are delivered directly by the teams on the ground and through partner organisations. When welcomed by the community, this results in significant increases in the take-up of services and interventions.
Why it works:
S.A.F.E. uses mobile, high-quality street theatre and community programmes to address the cultural influences, behaviours and choices that underpin some of Kenya's greatest challenges, including HIV/AIDS, violence, female circumcision and the environment. S.A.F.E. succeeds where others cannot because they go directly into Kenya’s most under-served and hard-to-reach communities and speak to people in a way they trust and enjoy. Because all S.A.F.E.’s performers come from within operational communities, the teams are able to sensitively engage with people on otherwise culturally taboo subjects. Audiences feel connected to S.A.F.E.’s performances because each team is considered a familiar, supportive and trustworthy source of information. S.A.F.E.’s performers are literally the children, brothers, sisters and friends of the audiences.
S.A.F.E. uses the same model - street theatre combined with community outreach education - to tackle a number of Kenyan social challenges, including HIV/AIDS, post-election violence, female circumcision, unsafe drinking water and environmental damage. Education through the performing arts is a powerful way to create social change because great theatre and film provides an awe-inspiring, thought-provoking, attitude-changing, paradigm-shifting way to deliver complex and sensitive messages.
This model has recently been applied to tacking the issues underlying issues of post-election violence in Kenya. This programme began in 2009 when S.A.F.E. conducted in-depth research into the causes and consequences of post-election violence. As with all S.A.F.E. programmes, the primary source of information at the beginning of the design of the peace programme were communities themselves. Research revealed community-wide disillusionment that was blamed on failed leadership, resentment towards other tribes and a profound sense of helplessness.
S.A.F.E. used a play and then film, Ni Sisi ('It is Us') to tackle these feelings... to huge effect. In just two years, the play was performed live to 96,000 people and the film has since reached hundreds of thousands through screenings, cinemas, TV and DVD distribution. The quality of the performances means the message of peace can be heard loud and clear in the communities which most need it.
PO Box 68922
Registered UK Charity Number: 1097369