In the early nineties, I was invited to set up an educational puppetry program in Kenya to train local puppeteers in putting together East African 'Puppets Against Aids' teams. Over a period of eight years, our organisation held workshops reinforcing the programme, which soon numbered over 400 puppeteers, spread throughout the region.
The Family Planning Private Sector (FPPS) programme Community Health Awareness Puppeteers (CHAPS) insists that the puppeteers it trains are community-based. Over 480 puppeteers have been trained since 1994. More than 48 CHAPS puppet troupes have been based in urban and rural communities all over Kenya. Their original and community-tailored scripts reflect local custom, belief and rumour and are performed in the local language. Soul Beat Africa published the story today. See here!
It has just been confirmed that the next Internatonal Puppet Theatre Ferstival in Kenya will take place in Nairobi from 14 to 21 October 2006.