Self expression and therapy.
Students at YIA participate in art classes multiple times per week, painting, drawing, and most importantly, creating. On any given day, visions of football stars, dragons, and flowers fill papers and canvases, as kids let their imaginations run wild, in the best of ways. Skits, dances, and songs fill the classrooms and playground, and the future stars of Congo are born.
Children coming to CAMME outside of YIA have often been the victims of traumatic events that are horrible to imagine. Forced conscription as child soldiers, sexual assault, starvation, begging on the street, and more. Recovering from these terrible events is a long process, and by no means an easy one. For these children, CAMME’s Arts, Music and Culture programming is about more than their work on the page or stage. Using poetry, dance, theatre, music and visual arts, CAMME helps children to process the trauma they have endured prior to coming to the center. Children use these activities not only to express themselves, but also for a simpler purpose- having fun. In a place like eastern Congo, where devastation and destruction have been such a regular part of life, it can be easy to forget the need for a child to grow, and to express him or herself. CAMME is only part of the process, but with the help of programs such as this, children have a chance to be children again.