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    Making a space for kids to use their imaginations

    DAY 77

    Creativity is Key

    Having an outlet for self-expression is something that many of us take for granted. And at Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement in Uganda, those opportunities come few and far between. Especially for kids.

    “When mothers come see me, they often bring their children,” says Doreen, one of ARC’s volunteers who works at our community help desks in Bidi Bidi. “But many times they don’t have much to do. They don’t have an outlet. So sometimes they just end up fighting.”

    So Doreen had an idea. What if we could provide a space for self-expression – for creative fun – right there at the help desks? That way, kids have the rare opportunity to express themselves through art and play, and moms have a chance to speak freely to Doreen – to tell her what they need. So today, we’re making Doreen’s idea happen – and bringing some kid-friendly creativity to Bidi Bidi.

    The ARC team gathered together musical instruments – tambourines, claves, and guiros – some kid-size chairs, a rug, brightly colored toys, colored pencils, and paper. And as soon as this kid’s corner was set up, the kids started coming.

    One little girl in particular fell in love with the tambourine. Her eyes bright and grinning wildly, she found her rhythm right away.

    With the instruments children can experiment with music, sing songs they know, and make up songs of their own. With the colored pencils and paper, they can draw – they can envelop themselves in imaginary worlds, they can process what they’ve been through. In the midst of everything else, this space at the help desk is like an oasis.

    “When these children are here, they get to play and be creative,” said Doreen. “And the women who come can share with us more easily. So, we can help parents and children at the same time.”

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