Theatre for peace.

Theatre for peace

Participants in full acting. Photo: IOM Cameroon 2024/PascaleESSAMA

Garoua - An innovative initiative to promote peace recently took place in Garoua. From 2 to 5 July 2024, the city hosted an intensive training session for staff from the United Nations Migration Agency (International Organisation for Migration), experts in mental health and psychosocial support, protection, communication and migration policy. The aim of the training was to help improve community resilience by building the capacity of trainers (IOM staff) in participatory theatre for reconciliation and peace.

Over the four days, participants looked at subjects such as peacebuilding and reconciliation, and psychosocial well-being, using interactive theatre methods.

Trainers from the Zouria Théâtre company, renowned for their expertise in the field, guided participants through a series of practical workshops. These sessions aimed to empower participants with the skills needed to use theatre as a means of dialogue and conflict resolution within the communities they serve.

Participants were able to discover how interactive theatre can serve as a powerful tool for addressing sensitive issues, creating spaces for dialogue and fostering mutual understanding. "Theatre allows people to express themselves freely and to reflect collectively on possible solutions to conflicts", said Papa Espérance, one of the trainers from the Zouria Théâtre company.

The initiative was welcomed by the IOM participants, who expressed their enthusiasm and commitment to use these new skills in their upcoming missions. "This training has opened up new perspectives on how we can approach reconciliation and peacebuilding in our communities," said Clarnette SODON, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support National Officer at IOM, and participant.

This training marks an important step in the use of participatory theatre as a tool for reconciliation. It also underlines IOM's ongoing commitment to promoting peace and social cohesion through innovative and participatory methods.

The integration of theatre into reconciliation and psychosocial support strategies is in line with the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, whose objective 16 aims to empower migrants and societies to achieve full integration and inclusion. This activity provides a platform for expression that facilitates the integration of return migrants and internally displaced persons into their host communities, thereby promoting their social inclusion.

Through the project "Strengthening the meaningful participation of women in the design and implementation of DDR policies in Cameroon based on the National DDR Strategy", funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, IOM will facilitate the implementation of psychosocial welfare activities in the field in collaboration with local women's associations.



For more information, please contact:

  • Franck Olivier MBANG, IOM Cameroon, Tel: 690366090, Email:
  • Pascale ESSAMA, IOM Cameroon, Tel: 657103074, Email: