Maisha Arts and Cultural Camp

The Problem

Kisumu, Kenya, although normally peaceful, was recently ravaged by terrible flooding and post-election violence, which left 270,000 homeless and more than 300 dead. In addition, the Kisumu area has one of the highest HIV infection rates in Kenya, with thousands of children left homeless and fending for themselves. Because these children are left alone, raising themselves along with their younger siblings, they often lose very early on their precious childlike sensibilities. They simply have not been allowed the time to just be children.

Plan of Action

Maisha Arts and Cultural Camp had an enormous impact. Not only did myself and my team members have the pleasure of watching the children blossom as they learned the art forms, we also had the joy of learning more about them as they opened up to us through their art. I knew that the camp had been a success the moment that I saw one of my photo students lecture another student on the proper way to hold a camera. I am extremely proud that we managed to not only have a dialogue between us and them, we managed to open up communication between their peers.

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