ARROWSA’s main arts for social change project is based at Bechet High School, Sydenham Durban. This programme known as ARROWSA Bechet is led by Mr Bheki Dlamini and includes weekly after school sessions. In the sessions the process and product are given equal importance. The youth (ranging from approximately 14 to 18 years old) participate in drama-for-social change exercises that focus on personal change and learn performing and visual arts skills. ARROWSA Bechet is one of Indra’s partners and participates in arts, culture and heritage for social change international exchange with Indra hubs throughout the world. ARROWSA Bechet presents at least one public applied theatre performance for the community per year. The level of skills learnt in the sessions is evidenced by the number of ARROWSA Bechet alumni who have gone on to pursue internships in performance e.g. at South Roots International and/or to become professional performers or presenters. The National Arts Council of South Africa has funded a number of ARROWSA projects. These include ARROWSA Bechet in the 2020-2021 South to North, Climate Change and SAUKINIDA, clothes, cultural identity and gender based violence projects. (for example, see Revised Scarecrow with captions ).
ARROWSA promotes arts exchange projects and/or events nationally with like minded arts, culture and heritage organisations. This has resulted in a number of face to face national tours by ARROWSA to the Western and Northern Cape and the hosting of tours from these provinces to Durban KwaZulu-Natal. National tours have focused on Durban youth from ARROWSA and/or tertiary institutions such as CCMS, UKZN led by Prof Keyan Tomaselli and DUT Jewelry students meeting with youth from South Roots International, Western Cape in Cape Town or with crafters and artists in the Kalahari. Enroute to the Kalahari ARROWSA youth have also broadened their arts, culture and heritage knowledge and experience resulting in personal change by visiting heritage sites such as McGregor Museum, the Big Hole and meeting with and watching performance of San people associated to the Wildebeest Kuil rock engraving site Kimberley, Northern Cape. ARROWSA has also hosted South Roots International tours to Durban as well as artists from the Kalahari. These meetings are characterised by intercultural exchange of dance, song, art and cultural practices. These face-to-face interactions promote an exchange of knowledge and experience through the arts and thereby promote understanding of similarities and differences that leads to empathy and the breaking down of negative perceptions and stereotypes. Since the onset of COVID-19 ARROWSA has participated in online projects funded by the National Arts Council that include national and international partners.
ARROWSA promotes arts exchange projects and/or events internationally with like minded arts, culture and heritage organisations. Indra and its hubs is the main international organisation that ARROWSA engages with in international arts exchange projects for personal and social change. An example of this type of online exchange was the 2020-2021 ARROW-Indra Climate Change and Gender-based violence projects funded by the National Arts Council, South Africa (for example see Clothing, culture, identity and gender issues ). These exchanges take place in other countries or in South Africa. The exchange at Indra Congresses includes a number of countries and ARROWSA also engages in bilateral exchanges between ARROWSA and one or two other countries. The arts exchanges include face-to-face and online exchange that makes use of the arts for exploring identity and/or social issues such as gender-based violence. ARROWSA also engages with artists from Bremen, Germany in Durban as facilitated by the Local History Museums and affiliated to the Abasha Bash Competition.
Miss and Mr Bechet
Miss and Mr Bechet project empowers and prepares responsible women and men for society. The project provides the young men and ladies of Bechet High School an opportunity to win a bursary which will assist them to further their personal growth and education. It also encourages competitiveness amongst the teenage boys and girls of Bechet High school in their pursuit of becoming an ambassador to teenage boys and girls in the school and in our society at large. Miss and Mr Bechet further aims to provide and develop teenage boys and girls through workshops, conferences, university tours and other educational institutions. The project encourages youth to take up tertiary education as this is part of the process to become an exclusive member of society. Within the process of the project the teenage girls and boys enhance their leadership, public speaking and communication skills. They also express their individuality and showcase their unique talents.The participants of Miss and Mr Bechet engage in charity/humanitarian work while the project aims to empower, encourage and challenge the youth to lead. Their leadership enables them to identify socio-economic issues/factors that affect them and find ways on how they can address and solve these.