Igniting the Social Arts Movement in East Africa

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“The social arts movement is alive and growing in East Africa,” says David Kafambe, Country Director of In Movement: Art for Social Change in Kampala, Uganda. In Movement provides several hundred orphaned youth each year with arts-based empowerment programs. Through a five-year partnership with PYE, In Movement has implemented the Creative Community Model into their after-school programs and has initiated a highly successful camp program. Most recently, PYE and In Movement collaborated on a camp called Hope Uganda serving war-affected youth in Northern Uganda. Click here for a compelling peek at the camp.

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The Ripple Effects

“We believe that we can positively influence youth work throughout East Africa by taking the work to a new level,” says David. “There is an amazing network of advanced trainers growing in Uganda,” says Nadia Chaney, senior PYE trainer. “The hope is that through receiving further training, this network will become the go-to place for Creative Community Model facilitation and training in East Africa.

A new PYE/In Movement initiative began in Kampala this June with the Art of Facilitation, an advanced training in arts/empowerment facilitation led by Nadia Chaney and PYE trainer Olusola Adebiyi. The 30-plus participants represented several Ugandan NGOs including In Movement, Breakdance Project Uganda, a program that empowers young people through hip hop and breakdance, Mango Tree, whose aim is to make education fun and effective, and the US Peace Corps, who is also working in the education field in Uganda. “It was a fantastic group and their combined work is already having a huge impact on so many lives in East Africa,” says Nadia. “The participants plan to stay in touch as well as reach out to other youth serving organizations, so we expect the training will have a large ripple effect.”

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A Wider Network of Support

PYE and In Movement view this training as a stepping-stone for building a wider network of support for social artists in East Africa and spreading the Creative Community Model still wider. “Considering the professions represented in recent Creative Community Model basic trainings in Uganda—school teachers, arts facilitators, sexual health workers and diverse NGO delivery staff—we believe deeper level training could catalyze a large scale impact on the youth serving sector in Uganda and beyond,” says Sola. Level 2 of the June Art of Facilitation training is in the works. Watch our website for the dates.

Creative Community Youth Camp

Meanwhile, in August Andrew Nalani, a Dartmouth College student in the US and long-time member of the PYE network, is organizing a residential Creative Community camp for 30 youth in Kampala. The camp will bring together youth and staff from three different countries: Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. In Movement and PYE are collaborators. “Many participants of the June training are volunteering at the camp to gain on-the-ground experience with the model,” says David. “Working at a camp is the best way to put the training into action!”

Photos: Sebulime Elisha Davis

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