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The Story of the Acholi - A Village Tale from Uganda
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Artfully AWARE (AfA) uses creativity as an important tool for social improvement and emotional recovery of persons who have experienced traumatic events, disabilities or inadequate living conditions through our main program - The Community-Created Book Project. Our unique project builds trust through discussions, elicits the sharing of personal narratives through interviews and story sharing, while painting, drawing and photography workshops empower people to discover solutions to community issues. Sometimes dance, theatrical performances and music sessions are also utilized. Together, these workshops form a complete holistic approach to working with communities. We empower people to understand their own ability to influence their future by writing, illustrating, photographing and publishing their personal stories into a book that offers a way of expressing internal feelings that have been repressed in times of turmoil and are often difficult to vocalize. We give voice to those who have been marginalized or voiceless. Through each Community-Created Book Project, participants strengthen their minds and abilities through creative stimulation; looking inward and to each other for solutions and problem solving. Our workshops are cathartic, therapeutic and bring much needed resilience. We aim to engender cross-cultural learning, foster a greater awareness of human rights, encourage the break down of barriers and stereotypes and preserve cultural heritage. One can not overstate the importance of communities being able to hold a history written by themselves in their own hands. 100% of proceeds raised through the purchase of our book goes straight back into developing more educational arts programs for community members to promote empowerment, support psychological well-being, increase self-esteem and enhance local capacity building.

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