REVITALIZING A REFUGEE COMMUNITY THROUGH ART: Little Wlebo Refugee Camp Southeastern Liberia
Visions of Hope mobilized 27 out-of-school youth to transform two walls of their distribution center into expressions of their hopes and dreams through murals.
For many of the out-of-school youth this was the first time since their arrival in the camp that they were given the opportunity to engage in an organized social structure, receive peer and adult support, have an outlet to express emotions and age appropriate concerns, practice gender and age equality and exercise civic responsibility. Over the course of the project, they learned art techniques, participated in psychosocial arts activities, and created two murals for their camp.
In addition, 30 Adults in the community were brought together in a community arts council to guide and advise the project. As refugees they experienced displacement, cultural bereavement, the disruption of community and social support networks. They had little role in the governance, design and organization of the space and activities in their community, and little opportunity for self-representation. This project worked to contribute to a more vibrant civil society, sense of place, culture, and self-representation for residents.
One mural on education expressed the importance of education for the Ivorian refugee youth to give them a brighter future and to help develop Côte d’Ivoire. The other mural was themed on peace, and expressed the importance of peace within the refugee community and in Côte d’Ivoire.
Little Wlebo Refugee Camp in Southern Liberia was established in 2011 to assist the thousands of refugees fleeing from the civil war in Côte d’Ivoire. The camp hosts approx. 8.500 refugees.
This project was commissioned by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) Created and implemented by Visions of Hope July 12th – September 5th 2012