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Why We Went To Uganda

January 25, 2009

June 2008

Human Merry Go-Round

Human Merry Go-Round

In June, nine AfA Consultants traveled throughout Uganda to meet with our Ugandan partners. Led by Communications Director Emily Hatfield, the AfA Team, in cooperation with Ugandan artist Justin Igala, Tororo Representative Brian Pade, met with community groups, health centres, artistic institutions, childcare organisations, and other local organisations to form partners that are working together with Artfully AWARE to develop artistic programmes and projects.

For some it was their first time to Africa and a wonderful opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture and communities whilst putting into practice some simple methodologies of the playful arts and visual arts that we at AFA have been developing. The communities really enjoyed the workshops we did which took place at the International Hospital Kampala, Karin Children’s Medical Centre Gulu, and a number of the communities within the Tororo district.

It was a hectic month of early mornings, long meetings, and dusty journeys and about as much carbohydrate as any “Muzungu” can take. We were received with an overwhelming response from everyone we met including individuals, communities and established organisations of both national and international acclaim. Everyone embraced our vision and some are eager for us to begin programmes this year.

As a brand new organisation our success in Uganda was beyond our wildest dreams as we bounced ideas off our partners and gathered a wealth of information helping us to develop and strengthen our concepts for our Community Education partnerships, The Festival of Arts as well as our programmes of work that use Art as a natural healing.

We are currently writing up and developing the information that we have taken from this trip and are applying it to our strategic plan for the next five years.

We would like to thank our Ugandan representatives Justin Igala and Brian Pade whose hard work and patience during that month has meant that we have returned with over 200 paintings created during AFA workshops by community members in the Tororo district. We asked three communities to identify their challenges but whilst illustrating aspects of their culture which engender a source of pride. These paintings are being displayed and sold at our traveling exhibitions and fundraisers all proceeds will go towards the establishment of AFA Uganda.

And we are so grateful to all those people who facilitated and supported us in Uganda including PLAN Uganda, Dr Ian Clarke of the International Hospital Kampala,  Kevin Duffy of the International Medical Foundation, David Kabiswa and  his team at ACET Uganda, Hope Okeny and her team and community of the Karin Medical Centre Gulu, Stephen Rwangyei of The Ndere Centre and The Uganda Drama Theatre Association, Carol Kamya of the Uganda Academy of Media Arts. Ann and Trevor Dudley of The Kids League Uganda, The Tororo Youth Centre, Kwapa PTC, Nyalakot PTC, Mbula Community, Edith Wakumire and Pastor Nicholas.

Emily Hatfield

Communications Director

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