Faces Up Uganda
We provide an evidence-based art empowerment program that works with students from the most vulnerable backgrounds. There is growing global evidence that arts-based learning allows students to build the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) skills they need to thrive. According to the Kennedy Centre, children who received art education showed increased confidence, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. The National Endowment for the Arts observed that students partaking in arts courses had higher grades and were 5 times more likely to graduate than their peers. Our online and offline programs explore the transformative power of the visual arts to help children including refugees as well as children with disabilities from the most vulnerable communities build the skills of Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Empathy, and Self-Esteem) and learn about themselves, their communities, and how they can make a change through art.
Students from marginalized backgrounds in Uganda lack Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills that they need to flourish. The absence of such skills is closely linked to poor outcomes in education, limited career attainment, as well as life opportunities for such students. Even though many factors contribute to this problem, failure to engage students in art and creative expression is one of the most immediate root causes. The education system in Uganda is not set up to bring art education to every student who needs it. Art education remains nationally deprioritized: students in government-aided schools and those from private schools from the most vulnerable backgrounds receive less than 20 hours of art education in a year. What's more, is that there is growing systemic inequality that inherently deprives children from lower socio-economic backgrounds to access art education, something that explains why art and craft were scrapped off the national curriculum for the primary level. We are not only failing to prepare the children for the future of work; we are also disempowering them from realizing their full potential thus reducing their life opportunities. There is also a stark ratio of 1 art teacher to every 1000 students - imagine the kind of stress such teachers experience.