The experience with art (music, dance, painting and deejaying) initiatives at Hashtag Gulu has shown how powerful art can be in healing, as a strategy in coping with stress and supporting wellbeing of young people living in street situations, in juvenile detention centers as well as in supporting reconciliation and reintegration processes in communities.
Art touches the hearts of people, where there is art, people come together, are open to listen, dance and paint. Art contributes to the wellbeing of the onlookers and the performers. In Gulu and at the Remand Home, where our projects are based, art is used as a form of therapy as it provides a platform for self expression and story telling which is a crucial part of healing and dealing with the past. Art can give a voice to the voiceless and amplify their stories. Performing one’s art gives people hope, provides them with visibility and the pride to be able to achieve and receive recognition. Hence, it is actually a powerful tool for rehabilitation, reintegration, and healing among the streets connected young people and the communities.
Through art, we give hope and a better alternative to life and these activities has enabled us to connect with our beneficiaries by identifying hidden talents and supporting them to nurture it and earn from it.