ABOUT THINGS THEY WOULDN’T NORMALLY LEARN
IN A WAY THAT COMPLEMENTS THE CULTURE
BY USING STORYTELLING AND VISUALS
IN A WARM AND JOYFUL WAY
THAT REALLY WORKS
Writers and Development Partners:
We are working closely with specialists in children’s education to make this project possible. The program developers we are working with have been long recognized as a leader in combining education with entertainment. They have been producing age-appropriate, instructional puppet programs since 1974. Their creative staff wrote and produced all of the music, lyrics and instructional programming (including dialog and songs) for McGruff’s Crime Prevention and Drug Protection Program; a graded puppet program created in cooperation with and licensed by the National Crime Prevention Council and featuring a puppet version of McGruff, the Crime Dog. Introduced in 1985 and implemented in thousands of elementary schools nationwide, this program is still in use in classrooms across the country.
• We have a close working relationship (established in PHASE I) with some of Kenya’s most gifted stand-up comedians and comedy writers. They serve as editors and consultants to our creative staff in the USA.
• We have sought counsel with the a Kenyan theatrical company who specialize in presenting this kind of content as well.
Storytelling Is A Powerful Tool
Storytelling is one of the most effective teaching tools available to mankind. Puppets tell stories. In Kenya puppets are well liked by all ages. Puppets have the ability to say things in public that might otherwise be taboo, and get away with it. Puppets are rarely seen in the real world; and, as a result, have an automatic attention-getting aspect to them. When puppets talk, people listen. Because they are so funny and unusual and clearly “unreal”, they aren’t bound to the usual social rules of human behavior and conversation. Our staff has worked in North, Central, and South America in addition to East and South Asia. Without a doubt, East Africans are the most attracted to puppetry.
Why does storytelling work so well?
Storytelling has the unique capacity to be both non-threatening and informative. In fact, people are less likely to object to facts presented in story form than if they were confronted with the facts directly. Simply put, people remove their defenses when reading or hearing a compelling story. The more engaging the story is, the more likely the morals, concepts, and ideas will be adapted by the listener.
We are inspired by our friends at safekenya.org who do theatrical shows all over Kenya. They see tremendous results in their live plays. Our work is very similar. They constantly and effectively demonstrate the power of fiction to change communities.
For more compelling information about the power of story, see this article:
Why Storytelling Is The Ultimate Weapon