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Posts Tagged ‘Uganda’

I posted this last week to the Trivani Field Notes blog, but wanted to pass it on to Great West readers as well…
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I am so excited to pass on this report from Uganda I just received today. Moses Echibu, one of the field staff at Asayo’s Wish Orphanage just sent me this email that includes photographs of a new mural on the girls curtain latrine at the orphanage. As an “art student”, Moses has continued to work with the children, allowing them opportunities to be expressive and creative with paint. (The paint was left from the first mural undertaken at the Orphanage in September when Megan and I were there last. ) Thanks Moses!

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hi chris,
how are you ? did you have a merry christmas ? i hope so !!!! we had ours with the orphans and it was so nice and lovely. the kids would love to know how you enjoyed your christmas. i told them that you are in the winter, i explained to them how very very cold it is there in the US. they were like how did you manage to enjoy your christmas. (more…)

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I’ve just returned from three weeks in Uganda and Kenya for work with the Trivani Foundation. In Uganda, we spent

Drawing with the children from Asayo's Wish

Drawing with the children from Asayo's Wish

the majority of our time in a village called Kaberamaido, at an orphanage called Asayo’s Wish. For most of the last three decades, political unrest and civil war has ravaged this part of northern rural Uganda. As a result, there are many widows and many orphans and a lot of suffering as people start to put their lives together.  Trivani Foundation has begun working with these alienated groups within the local community to empower them and ensure that their future is better.

As one of many things that we did while staying at Asayo’s Wish, and with funding from Great West, we facilitated a collaborative community arts project with the 160 children who live at the orphanage.  We started with about  50 children in the first group. I had brought from the states seven boxes of

Introducing paint!

Introducing paint!

crayons (with 96 colors each) and we turned the children loose on imagination-based drawings. There was a lot of

Mural in process

Mural in process

excitement with using crayons (likely the first crayons ever for many of them), but there were also some children who were unsure of how to proceed. I think that the creative outlet and open-endedness was foreign to them, given that most of their schooling is dictated by specific outcomes and artmaking is basically never on the agenda.

After a few minutes and some coaching/modeling, they loosened up and loved it. Once we had the drawings, we moved IMG_3136-w648-h480the children outside to the side of an old shop, on a highly visible wall in the

A boy concentrating on his football scene

A boy concentrating on his football scene

compound and from the nearby road. I had brought dozens of brushes from Utah and in Kampala before we drove to Kaberamaido, we had purchased ten gallons of various oil-based colors (latex acrylic is basically unavailable there). With the kids looking on, we unpacked the paint and proceeded to mix some additional colors and distribute them to the children After a short translated lesson on how to use the paint and brushes responsibly, they started transferring their drawings to the wall. It was definitely the first time for most of these kids to dip a brush in paint and they took to it quickly.

Initially intending only to paint the one side of the shop, the children made the executive decision to expand around the entire building and then onto the neighboring latrines. A few hours later, we had to cut them off and help them get IMG_3134-w648-h480cleaned up.  The next day, I facilitated the same activity for the remaining children (approx. 100!) and the walls started to fill in with their paintings. Over the course of the remaining week, one of the leaders (my main man Moses), worked with the children to fill in the negative space and tie the murals together. The results are stunning and the experience beyond explanation.

mural in process

mural in process

When we left Asayo’s Wish, most of the paint in the cans remained and I entrusted Moses with the task of providing more creative opportunities for the children with that paint. As far as the mission of eradicating poverty in this region, it is difficult to cite a concrete and verifiable outcome of this mural project. However, under the goal of empowerment, I believe this project will have significant, far-reaching and long-term impacts on these people; for the members of the community at-large and especially for the children who participated in this simple collaborative and creative process. I am excited to visit Uganda next year to see what will unfold. -cp

See a gallery of more photos here.

Young artists with Mural

Young artists with finished mural

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