Dream House Uganda
Dream House Uganda, founded in 2012, is a non-profit organization working directly with marginalized people such as girls and women, the elderly, street children and the disabled regardless of age, religion, ethnicity, gender and tribe streamlining programs that empowers, engages and supports them to transformative lives.
Dream House is in eastern Uganda in Mbale. Mbale has an estimated population of over 80,00 people. Over 40,000 of these people live in the Namatala slums, and over 60% of these residents are young people between the age of 4 and 30 years. Most people have settled here because of the civic unrests, drought, and natural disasters like floods and landslides, in search for a better life.
However, due to the dire poverty situation of the people living in Namatala slums, many young people are also facing challenges like; limited access to education, food and clean water, teenage pregnancies, and unemployment among others issues leading to increased drug abuse and crime rates in the communities.
As the future of their nation rests in the hands of the young people, the founders of Dream House Uganda believe that creative arts are a vital component of nourishing, educating and raising awareness of how the Sustainable Development Goals can help them create the life they desire.
John Paul is the creative facilitator, assistant director and founding member of Dream House Uganda. Recently he facilitated a wonderful art event called Art Speaks, a platform where children, young people, developing and professional artists come together to share knowledge, and life stories.
Art Speaks asked participants to come up with solutions that address socio-issues, and to take ownership of their implementation. Participants came up with innovative ways to lend their voices to ensure that the entire community is knowledgeable about the significance of the 17 SDG’s such as gender equality, clean water and sanitation, and climate action among others.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
The word art incorporates diverse art forms such as painting, music, dance, sculpture drawing, poetry, photography, and fashion. These help young people to express their emotions and imagination.John Paul Ojirot
Creative Balance Institute was able to collaborate with Dream House Uganda for their first annual Art Speaks event in December 2022. We collected over $500 USD. which is approximately 1,820,590 Ugandan Shillings. The funds were used to purchase all of the art supplies for the Art Speaks event. Thank you to everyone who donated! You made this event possible.
The event was a great success! There were many in attendance and wonderful performances and teachings shared with all. There was music, dancing, making art and painting murals!
Dancing and Music
Teaching about Community
The art projects were not just drawings, but also educating and engaging. The community created words like sharing, togetherness, and peace. It also involved a session where participants could explain what these words are and how beneficial they could be if they were practiced their daily lives. The participants were divided into groups and went on to draw these words around the community. They aimed to project beauty and messages of sharing, togetherness, and peace around the community
John shared that they want to start an art hub where young artists share resources, serve the community, earn skills, make and sell their art work and also use the space to connect local and international artists.
They are also hoping to have a boot camp 4 weeks before the next annual art speaks event day. Its aimed at training developing artists in the development of their artist approach, entrepreneurial and professional skills.