"We Love Life" is a psychodrama and creative arts program aimed at youth to prevent unnecessary risk taking behavior that results in explosive remnants of war (ERW)-related accidents. As a part of a comprehensive mine risk education plan, the program was developed and implemented by Jordan's National Committee for Demining & Rehabilitation (NCDR) and partner organizations, including Life Line for Consultancy & Rehabilitation (LLCR), a Jordanian non-governmental organization and the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) at James Madison University. The program promotes safe behaviors in potentially dangerous situations and advocates positive attitudes towards persons with disabilities.
Written by well-known playwright and director Ghannam Ghannam, the psychodrama is performed by a Jordanian cast and crew, which include landmine and UXO accidents survivors who interact with the audience throughout the performance. To support positive behaviors, audience members engage in song and dance, and staff members interact with the audience and offer personal stories at the end of the performance. Participating children create art work that is distinctive and reflective of their community's character. Jordanian artist Abdel Aziz Abu Ghazaleh works with local school children to create community art projects with specific ERW safety messages that follow the theme "Be Safe." From the beginning, the message of the play was developed in compliance with international and Jordanian Mine Risk Education standards and used accurate, up-to-date information on accidents and victims in Jordan.
The JMU project team—comprised of two psychologists, a statistician fluent in Arabic and the CISR project manager–reviewed the script to ensure it incorporated best practices in the field of child psychology as well as in mine risk education. The JMU team and LLCR staff also reviewed the script to ensure the play and the arts activities reflect the content of the Jordanian government's National Committee for Demining and Rehabilitation curriculum as well as national and local data on landmine and UXO risk. The project’s success is determined by the play’s contribution toward improving MRE and changing attitudes. Moreover, success relies on school children’s ability to internalize the information and behave appropriately in light of this knowledge. The performances, artwork and MRE materials that will be used throughout Jordan in the years to come have been compiled into a DVD.
The project is funded through grants from the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the US Department of State's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. Project sponsors and partners: