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We Love Life 2009-2010

We Love Life Home | Project Partners | 2014 Program | 2009-10 Program

We Love Life is a psycho-educational drama and creative arts program aimed at children and youth aged 11-15. It is part of a comprehensive mine risk education plan 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 is aimed at raising awareness and preventing young people from taking risks resulting in accidents from Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) such as landmines and Unexploded Ordnance (UXO). It imparts accurate knowledge, highlights an attitude of resilience toward the dangers of landmines and UXO, promotes safe behaviors in potentially dangerous situations, and advocates positive attitudes towards persons with disabilities.

The script of the play was written by well-known playwright and director, Ghannam Ghannam. The play is performed by a Jordanian cast and crew that include survivors of landmine and UXO accidents who interact with the audience throughout the performance. To support positive and helpful belief and behaviors, audience members are engaged in songs and dance, and are asked questions while getting the opportunity to hear the personal stories of the actors at the end of the performance.

The participating children also are involved in creating 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, all with a "Be Safe" theme, where specific ERW safety messages are incorporated into the work. From inception of the project, the content of the play and the "Be Safe" messages were developed in compliance with international and Jordanian Mine Risk Education standards and using accurate and 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 incorporates 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 make sure the play and the arts activities reflect the content of the Jordanian government's National Committee for Demining and Rehabilitation curriculum and national and local data on landmine and UXO risk.

Another component of the We Love Life project is the production of a DVD version of the theatrical play with the aim of making it available for public broadcast or viewing in settings where it can reach other people who would benefit from its "Be Safe" and disability rights messages.

From 2009-2010, the play was performed in Jordan at 18 locations and reached nearly 16,000 students. 

The art activities play a vital role at this final stage by reinforcing the safety messages contained in the play. They are another means to deliver safety messages and leave concrete reminders of the messages behind in the communities. Successful examples of enforcing the safety messages have been in Al Mafraq governorate where local students from Al Baej painted a series of murals on a wall surrounding the Jaber Center for Social Development and in Sama Al Sarhan where a large metal sculpture was created and placed in the center of a busy traffic circle.

The outcome of the project is measured by assessing to what extent the program has contributed to improved knowledge and changed attitudes, and whether the information has been internalized by the school children and thus reflected in appropriate behavior and actions to help keep them and their communities safe.

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