PROJECT TRIP JAMBO SANAA 2017 – Giraffes, Elephants and the empowerment of boys | NAIROBI, Kenya
Jambo Sanaa has just come back from a project trip to visit different art (educational) projects in East Africa and develop further develop the project. We were travelling as a team of four, including a photographer/ videographer (Tim Kredel) who took the pictures presented in the blog entries about the trip; teacher Abella Ndyekobora from Kayanga Primary School, where we are doing the workshops currently; an secondary school educator from Dar Es Salaam (Stephen Nyankojo) and myself, the project manager (Alexandra Dreier).
Our schedule was as follows:
7-10th June 2017: Nairobi, Kenya
10-12th June 2017: Kampala, Uganda
12th-16th June 2017: Bukoba and Kayanga, Tanzania
Teacher Abella is going to present you her impression of our time in Nairobi in this little article. Enjoy!
On the first day we went to see different animal shelters, like the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Giraffe Centre, where we saw baby elephants and giraffes that had been rescued after their mothers died because of drought or poaching. It was the first time for me to see an elephant and a giraffe from close because normally I just look at them in books and try to draw pictures of them.
However, not only seeing the elephants and giraffes I found interesting, but also to see a little exhibition that consisted of paintings made by children from a local school. They use different material to the material that we use usually when we make paintings, like, for instance, sponges or grass. Maybe we can think about using different material as well, especially material that is locally available.
At the end of the day we visited the cultural centre where we saw dances of the different tribes of Kenya, as well as their houses. I found it very impressive because some of the houses looked similar to the houses you can find in our country Tanzania! I will never forget this day and the impressions I got!
The next day we met Krysteen from OneFineDay/ Annos Africa.
“Anno’s Africa's remit is to bring to underprivileged children in Sub Saharan Africa opportunities that are normally beyond the hopes and dreams of most children growing up in some of the most overpopulated and poorest slums in the world. The programme currently offers an alternative arts education to over 1,700 children across Africa, with classes in 6 major disciplines; Art, Creative Writing, Dance (including ballet) Drama, Music and Circus skills.”
What I found very compelling was that they use the concept of Art to teach the children Life Skills, similar to what Jambo Bukoba does with Sports. Krysteen explained that the children become more responsible, self-confident and less likely to commit crimes, which is a huge problem in the slums of Nairobi. For me, as a teacher, it was also good to hear that parents have to sign a special form to allow their children to attend the workshops. Like this Krysteen makes sure that the parents are involved as well and understand why this workshops are beneficial for their children.
She outlined so many wonderful elements of her work but one of the big takeaways was that through the art workshops social behaviour can be learned really well! Her point was that nowadays the empowerment of boys is equally important as the empowerment of girls because we live in a society where men and women interact. Therefore the art classes can be a starting point for boys and girls to learn about what it means to treat everyone with equal respect. After talking with Stephen, Alexandra and Tim about what that means for our art workshops we decided that it would be better to have the art workshops for boys and girls in mixed groups. For the Menstrual Hygiene Management workshops I give, it definitely makes sense to have them only for girls, because that’s a girls’ topic. However, for the art workshops we should make sure that boys and girls learn to work together and become both empowered to be responsible citizens of Tanzania.
Another amazing idea Krysteen gave us was to create the “Kayanga Arts Centre”. She was telling us about how they take the children from the slums in Nairobi to trips to the National Theatre etc., and I said: “But we don’t have anything like this near Kayanga!”
Then she replied: “So you have to create your own arts centre!”
The dream would be to create an arts centre where children from the region can come and see one another’s art exhibition and performances!
Regarding funding she stressed that the money raised should be used to buy material that is needed for the workshops but not to motivate the teachers. She explained that they pay professional local artists to conduct the workshops with the children but they don’t pay the teachers who attend the workshops because it’s training for them, which they should attend out of curiosity and not because of money.
The whole conversation with her was very fruitful and got a lot of inspiration for the development of Jambo Sanaa.”