Educational programs in impoverished communities typically adopt traditional models of education, with an emphasis on math, science, and language. These programs allocate few resources to topics such as arts—topics that are perceived as having little tangible relevance. Children in such environments face a much different future than their counterparts in wealthier areas: because no professional job opportunities are available, they will likely end up working on family or neighborhood farms.
In February of 2015, African Education Program (AEP), an NGO with focus on youth education and leadership, invited Art Sprouts, Inc. to facilitate a teacher training for AEP staff and volunteers to formalize a before/after-school arts program at the Amos Youth Centre in Kafue, Zambia. Presently, the program benefits hundreds of students from the community as well as 23 student-boarders from remote villages, providing all children with the much-needed opportunities for personal growth and a chance to express themselves through arts.
In the winter of 2012, we traveled to the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, to help children on their road to recovery from the ramifications of the Nepalese Civil War. Hosted by one of the many Kathmandu orphanages, Camp NEPAL provided much-needed safe harbors where Nepali children explored and nurtured their creative abilities and develop new skills and resources to provide long lasting relief from the trauma caused by the war.