In Brussels, many migrant women without legal status live in precarious situations while having no or limited access to health care and other basic services. Their access to descent care is mainly hampered by a lack of information, limited
financial resources and poor experiences in the past . Médecins du Monde Belgium is implementing several projects with the objective not only to encourage the women to stay connected to the health system, but above all to give women the opportunity
to re-gain control over their health, which includes their mental health and psychosocial well - being. Médecins du Monde has asked the support of C4C to help them in these efforts. The overall goal will be achieved with the help of Theatre & Reconciliation,
a partner organization of Culture 4 Change. The project took place between the end of March and June 2019.
Migrant women without legal status have been invited to participate in a theatre production.
Women from Guinea, Cameroun, Congo and Marocco, without legal identity, together with students, patients of a detox clinic and professional actors have been developing a theatre production under the leadership of Frédérique Lecomte,
director of Theatre & Reconciliation. Rehearsals over a period of 5 weeks in small groups resulted in a final performance; some 65 actors played two times for an audience of some 500 people in total.
The role of Culture 4 Change
within this specific context was to conduct a research action in order to
- Determine whether the method of Theatre & Reconciliation indeed results in feelings of more trust and psychosocial well-being among the target group that participates
directly in the theatre production
- Determine whether there are changes in perception among the audience : does the show indeed make members of the target group want to break out of their isolation and to communicate with others?
answers to these two questions will help to determine whether this initiative is worth pursuing, and what needs to be adapted or changed in terms time and resources to extend efforts in the future.
use of theatre when working with groups of people that have faced severe adversities and stressful periods, resulting in feelings of frustration, withdrawal and isolation, is no new phenomenon and has proven to be successful in different contexts. Theatre & Reconciliation specifically aims to empower vulnerable people and to restore social cohesion through conflict resolution
and reconciliation. Major result of this specific project are presently analyzed and documented.
 Corcoran S. (2018) In the Theatre of the Self: Reflections on the use of Drama in Treating Traumatic
Stress Neurophysio and Rehab 1: 29-31; Dramatic Healing: The Evolution of a Trauma-Informed Musical Theatre Program for Incarcerated Girls . Meade Palidofsky &Bradley
C. Stolbach ; Self-revelatory performance: A form of drama therapy and theatre Author: Emunah,
Renée.Source: Drama Therapy Review, Volume 1, Number 1, 1 January 2015, pp. 71-85(15)
Publisher: Intellect DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/dtr.1.1.71_1;
Narrating, Witnessing, and Healing Trauma in Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive; https://doi.org/10.3138/md.53.1.103 Published Online: April 27, 2010 ; Gay Morris (2015) Special issue on applied
theatre healing and trauma, South African Theatre Journal, 28:1, 1-3, DOI: 10.1080/10137548.2015.1011860; Barnes, H. and Coetzee, M.-H., eds. 2014. Applied drama/theatre as social intervention in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Newcastle on Tyne: Cambridge
Scholars Publishing. Lan, D., 1990. Desire and other plays. London: Faber and Faber.
Nebe, W., 2013. Welcome note. In: 2013 Drama for Life Africa Research Conference: the unfinished business of
truth and reconciliation: arts, trauma and healing [Programme]. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand, 2–3.
Theatre & Reconciliation (https://www.theatrereconciliation.org) is a Belgium non-profit organization that organizes theatre workshops and develops theatre productions with and for communities that are
torn apart as a result of violence and conflict; marginalized individuals, child soldiers, detainees, victims of torture, patients in therapeutic settings, asylum seekers, victims of sexual violence. See: Théâtre et Réconciliation,
méthode pour une pratique théâtrale dans les zones de conflit
Theatre er & Reconciliation is active in Belgium and other countries such as Congo, Burundi and Rwanda
 See the extensive work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, resulting
from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, together with over 45 years of successful clinical application.