I’m writing to share about organizations I recently learned about. My hope in sharing with you is that you feel the same spark of inspiration inside of you as I do in learning about their mission! Please praise and share their courage, passion, and drive as you will! Please donate to support if you have the ability.
Earthchild Project is an organization that is committed to teaching school children in South Africa about Yoga and holistic living through hikes and environmental education. The purpose of this project is to start self sustainable communities in South Africa and on the rest of Mother earth. Though it will take time and dedication, they believe it can be done if they put their heads together and dedicate themselves to this project. Click here to visit Earthchild Project on Youtube and click here to follow them on Facebook!
GirlBe is a grassroots initiative that empowers young women and girls in local communities in Kampala (Uganda) through creative means of learning. The project was founded in 2011 by Rehema Nsanyiwa, who was just 18 at the time. Girlbe was born out of Rehema’s life experience as a teenage youth raised with a range of difficulties including accessing education, and exposure to HIV and AIDS, alcoholism and homelessness from a young age. Click here to learn more about GirlBe and click here to follow GirlBe on Facebook!
Tasawwur is a collective of artists and educators, working to support and empower diverse groups of teenagers to actively lead positive change. Tasawwur engages 30 − 40 teenagers from different socio-economic backgrounds in an intense 60 hour creative process exploring and addressing the complex social forces and events (e.g. sexism, classism, abuse, peer pressure) that they encounter on a daily basis. Care will be taken to bring together a cross section of youth from across the city, including youth from communities that are marginalised on the basis of caste, class, religion, disability, etc., and to create an inclusive atmosphere for learning and growing together. The program includes weekly workshops, a youth leadership team, and a culminating performance and publication. Click here to read more about Tasawwur.
UGANDA has been called one of the worst places on earth to be a child. In the South, children face the threat of poverty and disease. In the North, these threats are enflamed by brutal, mindless war inflicted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (L.R.A.) that has divided families, displaced millions and led to the abduction and mutilation of tens of thousands of children resulting in the deterioration of identity and culture. Bouncing Cats is the inspiring story of one man’s attempt to create a better life for the children of Uganda using the unlikely tool of hip-hop with a focus on b-boy culture and breakdance. They’ve recently expanded to include permanent classes in Gulu, Northern Uganda. Abramz teaches classes weekly to 300 kids from all parts of the country. Many of the children are homeless, victims of war and poverty, and few can afford proper schooling yet they walk from miles away to attend the B.P.U. classes. As Abramz says, “This is where many people’s pride is. It’s a skill that no one can take away from us.” Click here to learn more about Bouncing Cats and Breakdance Project Uganda and click here to follow them on Facebook.
KwaMashu School of Dance Theatre strives to create innovative dance theatre school and education programs that bring together people with different body histories, types and abilities. Vusi Makanya is the artistic director and his blend of different techniques and forms is absolutely breath-taking. Click here to check out KwaMashu on Youtube and click here to follow them on Facebook.
Studio 8 is an independent art and dance collective that runs a community-based performing arts space in Amman, Jordan. Studio 8 focuses on dance and the performing arts as practices of healing that bring people from diverse backgrounds together. The studio is a hub where community members and performing artists can experiment with and learn diverse art forms.
Studio 8 artists specialize in various genres of the performing arts including dance, theater,circus arts, puppeteering, installation, costuming, and dance film production. Studio 8 is an open space for the performing arts that gives the local community an alternative to commercialized artistsic expression. We run a creative space where artists and community members meet, ideas are generated and projects developed. Click here to learn more about Studio 8. Click here for their video project, and click here for an article on Studio 8 & social change.
I hope these people have given you some hope in a world that sometimes feels so wounded. Thank you for reading, until next time, with love, Alicia