Uganda (Step 2)

The Red Pencil, in collaboration with the local NGO – Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation,  successfully delivered Step 2 of 3 in Amor Village, Uganda, where group arts therapy sessions were facilitated by arts therapists, Myria and Sanaa. The team spent ten days in rural Uganda working with young girls and their mothers. Looking back from Step 1 and to now, they were already able to note the wonderful growth these women had achieved in the past few months.

Some observations the team shared were:

“The women feel more confident to speak and aren’t as afraid of being laughed at, like some were in the first stage. They are more confident in themselves and wish this would continue indefinitely. “

“The girls are more confident, especially girls who were younger and very shy.  When they spoke I couldn’t even hear them in the first stage and now many are standing up tall and speaking louder with their heads held high.”

Girls and their mothers drew each other as part of the Draw Me Love Me campaign. Myria said: “It was quite beautiful to witness. I believe that expressing ones feelings in a form of affection is not common practice and especially between mother and child. I think life here is very hard and people spend so much time just trying to survive that they don’t have time to spend sharing their feelings of affection with each other verbally or physically. Also it is a very collective culture so the individual is not thought of in the same as it is in my individualistic culture. There were themes of love, caring, hardworking, God fearing and getting a good job. The women were especially anxious about doing this activity because they felt they didn’t know how to draw a “likeness”. I assured them that it didn’t need to be a “likeness” but an image of how they feel about the person and that whatever they put on the page is exactly the right thing. The images drawn were colourful and wonderfully unique in their own ways.”

 

The team will return again later this year to culminate the program and assist the women and girls to grow more resilient and ensure sustainable well-being through the arts.