EU youth art exhibition winners receive fully paid mentorship

EU youth art exhibition winners receive fully paid mentorship
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The European Union has  held an art exhibition at Alliance francaise Kampala, showcasing art created by 46 youth finalists who participated in a youth art competition in West Nile.

The campaign, launched during the 2023 World Refugee Day celebrations, targeted three refugee settlements,

namely Rhino Camp, Imvepi and Bidi Bidi, and was jointly executed by Faces Up Uganda, a non-profit

organization empowering youth through art.

The campaign elicited participation from 682 young people between the ages of 8 and 21.

Art experts took the young artists through guided sessions to create art along specific themes including

empowerment and self-reliance, environmental protection, governance and leadership, and access to

justice and protection for peaceful and prosperous communities.

“We are passionate about empowering young people to become active citizens and strongly believe in the power of art as a platform to give a voice to young people. With incredible creativity, this exhibition portrays stories of hope from the youth of West Nile," said EU Ambassador Jan Sadek.

At the event, the EU announced the top three winners who will receive a fully paid for mentorship from

renowned visual artist Kwizera at his art studio based in Kampala.

“We are delighted to offer the top 3 winners the opportunity to undergo an accelerated art mentorship

with celebrated visual artist Kwizera, who will provide hands on training to these young aspiring

artists”, Ambassador Sadek added.

The support of the EU to the government is crucial to provide life-saving humanitarian and longer-term

development assistance to refugees and host communities in Uganda.

Since 2016, the EU has committed over €400 million in development and humanitarian assistance to the national refugee response, working in a number of sectors benefiting both refugees and host communities.

According to UNHCR data, Uganda currently hosts over 1.5 million refugees, the majority of whom are children facing various challenges including compromised mental health, the threat of lost childhood, lack of access to quality education and services, as well as shifting family dynamics and responsibilities.

“Young people are disproportionately affected by the refugee crisis, exposing them to various risks. Providing safe spaces where they can refine their artistic skills and also express themselves allows them to channel their energy and creativity,” said Ambassador Sadek.

Participants shared their experience.

“It was exciting to take part in the competition! I was guided by art experts in Imvepi and I got to use professional art supplies. I am grateful to the EU and I hope to continue to express my creativity

through art in the future,” said 15 year old Meta Richard, one of the emerging winners.

The focus of initiatives funded by the EU in refugee hosting districts addresses a wide spectrum of sectors. This includes support to skilling and livelihoods to promote income-generating activities and build

resilience.

Additionally, support to services strengthens local governance and access to education, water and sanitation.

The EU  has  also targeted intervention to combat increased environmental degradation

and accelerate access to justice and protection for vulnerable groups.

“At Faces Up, we believe in the power of art to empower young people from underserved communities.

We are pleased to collaborate with the EU on this initiative, which has provided the youth with art

supplies and artistic mentorship. We hope it will inspire them to nurture their passion and pursue art as

a viable career path,” said Emmanuel Ssekitto, the team leader, Faces Up Uganda.

Following the opening ceremony, the exhibition was made open to the public.

The EU will also showcase the art in a virtual exhibition online.

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