Dramatic Need

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Dramatic Need

Dramatic Need is a UK-registered charity (number 1119443)[1] that sends international arts professionals (such as musicians, artists and actors) to host workshops in underprivileged and rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. The charity promotes creative expression as a tool for conflict resolution, social development, gender empowerment and the assimilation of health messages in underprivileged communities. Dramatic Need also provides art, music and film-making equipment to schools in South Africa and Rwanda. Volunteers on the Dramatic Need programme work with the children towards producing a performance or exhibition based on the issues that directly affect their communities. The charity has been particularly effective in encouraging young people to discuss and challenge the stigma surrounding HIV/Aids. The Official Patron of Dramatic Need is Her Excellency Dr Lindiwe Mabuza, South African High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The Board of Trustees includes the Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle and South African-born actor Sir Antony Sher.

In an article for The Times in the United Kingdom on November 11, 2008, Dramatic Need trustee Danny Boyle wrote of Dramatic Need, describing the charity's aims:

For children - and for many adults - art plays a vital role in helping them to express feelings and difficulties that they aren't otherwise able to articulate. Its importance is never greater than in post-conflict conditions. Of course, water, food, and first aid are essential during a crisis, but none of these things can restore human dignity to a person dying from disease or help a rape victim to cope with their outrage. To suggest that the only things that maintain our humanity are those that serve our biological needs seems to me palpably incorrect. We are not just what we eat. We are also what we feel, what we fear, what we love and what we hate. Unexpressed tensions find their strength in violence....If there is not a means to move beyond the hatred of the past, we will never move past violence.[2]

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Significant supporters of the charity include Josh Hartnett [3] and Helena Christensen and David Walliams. Josh has stated that he wishes to volunteer for Dramatic Need in the future[4].

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