The healing and cultural qualities of arts and music are often overlooked in Uganda. Neither visual, performance, or creative technology education is provided by public schools, meaning many children lack access to creative education programs. However, these children might need this education even more, as it can provide practical skills and vocational training for creating crafts and skills that they can use to support themselves.
Empowering youth to be able to follow their creative passions and provide for themselves is a priority in the HCU community. Students have the option to choose between various practical and creative artistic ventures, including DJing, drawing, dance, and fashion design (sewing and jewelry-making) classes. Typically, the youngest children draw, whereas the older ones will alternate between breakdance and fashion classes. We encourage older students to focus more on sewing and jewelry-making, because these skills are practical and can help them support themselves with income. However, we allow children to follow their interests and pursue their passions however they wish. In order to attend arts classes, children are required to first attend literacy and social studies classes, to maintain a well-rounded education.
Empowering youth, especially girls, to follow their creative instincts helps them not only build confidence within themselves and community with each other, but express their emotions, discover their talents and grow the acholi arts and music cultural identity.
Wer Waa Arts Festival is a yearly celebration of the healing powers of arts and music in Northern Ugandan culture. From fashion designers and visual artists, to breakdancers and musicians, their success in the industry is an inspiration to all. These gracious individuals share the keys behind this success through volunteer-led classes with the students at HCU.
Check out some videos of our kids and instructors practicing and performing!
Our Dance Professors from Watwero Dance Company.