Feature Story

“Open your hand”: Edutainment event inspires community to end violence

26 December 2016

Kampong Cham, 27 November 2016 - “Let’s play a game! It’s called “Clenched Hand and Open Hand”” announced Chhap Nika, a youth volunteer leading a game during an “edutainment” event as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign in Prey Chhor community. The event was organized by the Ministry of Women Affairs with the support from UNFPA Cambodia.

“First, pair with the person standing next to you. Then, one of you has to clench your fist and the other has to do whatever it takes to make your partner open their hand. The first pair to have both of their and their partner’s hand open will win”, Nika instructed around 400 people who joined the campaign.

 

Hearing this, some of the participants laughed; others scratched their heads, wondering what would be the fun in the game. It did not take long for the majority of people to open their hands and shout “We won!”

 

“How did you manage to make your partner open her hand?” the young MC asked. Most of the participants said they used their hand to pull their partner’s fist open.

 

“Did it hurt pulling each other’s hand like that?” the MC questioned again. The participants replied yes, nodding.

 

“But did you really have to use force to make your partner open their hand? I said do whatever it takes to make your partner’s hand open - you could have just gently asked your partner to open their hand and you could win too,” explained Nika with a smile. The participants burst into laughter; they had fallen for Nika’s trick.

 

“We tend to resort to violence without realising there are actually peaceful alternatives, like talking, to solving the problems.” Nika explained as she encouraged participants to reflect this game when facing tension within family.

“If you use force, both your and your partner’s hand will hurt. Similarly, if you use violence, you will hurt yourself and everyone around you not just physically, but also emotionally.”

Nika’s commentary on the game brought a big smile to participants’ face. Through this game, participants learned both how easy it is for people resort to violence - but also that violence is not an effective way to solve problems.

The game was just one of many edutainment sessions throughout the 16 Days Campaign event in Prey Chhor district, which aimed to sensitise participants to violence against women and girls in a fun but educational way. Across the day, activities like a quiz, dancing, face-painting, and taking selfies were all shaped around the topic of ending violence against women and girls.

Hin Ratana, a youth volunteer who joined the 16 Days campaign with her friends, said she found the edutainment event uplifting. “It also inspires me to do more, to help build a violence-free community,” she added.

Song Bunthim, a 31-year-old volunteer from Samrong commune, likewise expressed his appreciation for the event.

“I have been working as a volunteer in primary prevention of violence against women and girls in my community. I think I can use some fun activities from today’s event to include in my next training so that it would be more engaging to young people.”.

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The edutainment event is one of many supported by UNFPA Cambodia for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Find out more about our activities for the campaign here!

 

“How did you manage to make your partner open her hand?” the young MC asked. Most of the participants said they used their hand to pull their partner’s fist open.

 

“Did it hurt pulling each other’s hand like that?” the MC questioned again. The participants replied yes, nodding.

 

“But did you really have to use force to make your partner open their hand? I said do whatever it takes to make your partner’s hand open - you could have just gently asked your partner to open their hand and you could win too,” explained Nika with a smile. The participants burst into laughter; they had fallen for Nika’s trick.