Puppetry, a synergizing approach to social behavioral change communication

Community members following a puppet figure. Photo: LWF


On a bright afternoon in Kyangwali settlement, an unusual sight caught the attention of the villagers. Gigantic puppets, towering over the landscape, paraded through the various zones of the settlement. It was a spectacle unlike anything they had seen before, and curiosity drew the residents out of their homes one by one to follow the procession of colorful figures.


As the puppets meandered through the village, their presence became a magnet for the community, drawing more and more people to join the procession. With each step, the crowd swelled, captivated by the enchanting display before them.


Led by the towering puppets, the villagers converged in an open ground, buzzing with anticipation for the show about to unfold. Here, amidst the gathering crowd, the true power of puppetry was revealed.


Puppetry, once relegated to the realm of entertainment, has emerged as a formidable force in social behavioral change communication (SBCC), ushering in a new era of success and transformation. This captivating blend of amusement and education has proven to be a game-changer, reshaping attitudes and disseminating vital messages with unparalleled efficacy.


With funding from the World Food Program under the Integrated Maternal Health and Nutrition project, puppetry has emerged as a vital element in the ever-evolving realm of health and nutrition programs. Leveraging the captivating essence of puppetry, LWF has prompted meaningful dialogues, fostered empowerment, and cultivated resilience within the communities.


The allure of puppetry lies in its ability to captivate audiences of all ages, transcending barriers and fostering deeper engagement with complex topics such as maternal and child health, WASH, and gender-based violence. Through vivid storytelling and interactive experiences, puppetry stimulates all human senses, eliciting profound emotional responses and prompting critical reflection on societal norms.


The success of puppetry in SBCC initiatives is evident in the invaluable feedback and insights provided by the attendees of the show. By embracing puppetry as a dynamic and interactive tool, LWF has forged meaningful connections with communities, laying the foundation for enduring behavioral change and social cohesion.



"I was captivated by the puppet show and inspired to take action. Now, I understand that instead of using my money for drinking, I must prioritize my family's well-being," said Furaha Mave.


"Thanks to puppetry, I've gained valuable insights into maternal responsibilities and the importance of community support," echoed Karungi Irene.


"I came expecting entertainment but left with a newfound understanding of breastfeeding. Puppetry has truly opened my eyes to essential health messages," remarked Amono Scovia.


What had started as a simple procession had transformed into a captivating and educational event. In conclusion, puppetry stands as a beacon of hope and empowerment in the realm of SBCC, heralding a brighter future for communities across Uganda. Through LWF's visionary use of puppetry, vital health and nutrition messages are effectively communicated, empowering individuals to make informed choices and champion positive change in their communities.