The Freedom Theatre’s work with children and youth stems from the work of Arna Mer Khamis who together with women in Jenin refugee camp started an alternative education program during the first Intifada in the late 1980s. Many of the children who participated in these activities later continued in The Freedom Theatre and are today leading their own programs and projects. Read more about The Freedom Theatre’s legacy.
A comprehensive Child & Youth program
The Freedom Theatre has since its inception in 2006 worked with and for children in drama groups, storytelling, drama therapy, photography, film and creative writing, theatre and circus performances, training programmes for therapists and educators, and much more.
In our specialised Child & Youth program, the child perspective is the fundament upon which all activities is built. We put much emphasis on play as a prerequisite for children’s healthy development. Our aim is to offer a safe place where children of all ages are free to express themselves creatively and are strengthened in their ability to deal with difficulties they encounter in their everyday lives.
As a theatre we want to work with people from when they are children, nurturing the joyfulness and freedom that children have within them.” Ahmad Tobasi, theatre instructor
Ongoing theatre workshops form one cornerstone of the Child & Youth program. The aim of the theatre workshops is to promote the participant’s imagination and creativity.
At the end of each term, relatives of the participants are invited to see their children perform, thereby involving the families in the activities.
I was bored with just hanging around in my neighbourhood, I wanted to learn something new. I love being here and I wish I could come every day. I learn about acting but I also learn many other things. For example, I learned not to throw rubbish on the street, and I do the same at school now.” Jamal Abu Juos, theatre workshop participant
The Freedom Theatre offers daycare for children aged 0-5. The activities are based on a pedagogy of play and creativity, where learning takes place in a natural pace, through children’s innate curiosity to explore the world around them. The children are listened to and feel safe to express themselves, knowing that their opinions will be valued and respected. Our daycare offers a safe and joyful environment that enables the children to remain curious to learn and to grow throughout their lives!
The daycare is open from 7:30 to 15:30, Sunday to Thursday. Groups of children are small, maximum six children per facilitator. Nutritious, home-cooked and sugar-free meals are provided three times a day. We regard this as absolutely vital to the children’s health, development and ability to learn. Three times a week trips are made to nearby forests and playgrounds.
Training in creative and artistic activities with children
In November 2016, The Freedom Theatre initiated a one-year specialised training program in early childhood education with a focus on creativity and play. Read more about the program.