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World to Rights Drama Tour

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Children take over Chichester Cathedral to Fight for Rights...

Local schools to re-enact child exploitation in nationwide theatre project.

On Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th March Chichester Cathedral is taking part in a nationwide theatre project where local schoolchildren will portray some of the worst cases of child exploitation in history.

The children are taking part in a nationwide drama tour called World to Rights, which marks 50 years of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

On both days, 9 - 13 year-olds will take over the Cathedral to learn about their rights as well as their responsibility to fight for justice for others, through a series of theatre workshops.  "Fifty years after the Declaration many young people in the world still haven't got a clue what their rights are," says Anita Matthews of the Church Mission Society, who are running the event.  "World to Rights plans to help change that."  Through the fun of physical theatre, children will discover what it was like for British children who lived on the streets, worked in the circus of in factories in Victorian times.  "At the end of the day the children will perform a play for parents and the local community about the way children suffered in the past and why people began to campaign for change."

World to Rights will also highlight the modern struggles of street children in the Philippines, where the Church Mission Society are supporting the Jigsaw project which aims to empower children through education.  "Jigsaw are trying to build self esteem in children in a society that makes them feel worthless and to work for their rights by helping them through education.  They even help them to get birth certificates, which many don't have and without which they can't have a legal identity.  In 2009 we want to celebrate children and help to build international friendships," says Anita.  To this end, her team is organising visits in 2009 for teachers to link up with schools in other parts of the world as well as linking up with fellow charities Save the Childrena and Tearfund to help both children and adults get involved in campaigning for children's rights where they don't exist.

For further information about the workshops and performances on the 4th and 5th March please telephone the Cathedral on 01243 782595

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