WHAT WE DO
We work in partnership with communities hurt by inequalities and the violence of war,
honoring their lived experiences and knowledge to realize their collective vision of a better future.
Our participatory approach engages with a range of societal actors in a series of discussions which allow them to communicate and connect around shared values, responsibilities and interests. We strive for the equal inclusion of actors from all sectors of society in our programs, challenging harmful power dynamics to build a more just community.
We work with international and local partners to build local capacity and increase sustainability of our work through local ownership.
Using the medium of community-based public art, we create a platform for adolescents and community leaders to represent issues and values that are important to them. We focus on imagery that is based on what the community desires to promote in society as opposed to what they desire to prevent. This approach successfully promotes local strength, resilience, leadership and assets-focused thinking..
We create safe relational spaces which promote emotional expression and creativity. Within these spaces we provide arts-based programming that focuses on social and emotional learning, is therapeutic, and that builds capacity for critical reflection.
HOW WE DO IT
Collaborate with local communities
Provide psychosocial arts-based programming
Colors of Connection has developed a strong project model that integrates community-formulated approaches to programming. All projects are guided by local leaders in the communities who form a community arts council and are regularly consulted for input. Our model invites a participatory approach enabling the curriculum and program design to be meaningful and contextually appropriate to the communities with which we work.
Create public murals
The projects culminate in the creation of murals in public spaces in the community by the youth participants. The murals are collaboratively designed with local leaders and project participants to address concerns around a specific issue raised by community leaders, using positive imagery which portrays community-based solutions.
Our programs train groups of thirty to forty vulnerable young people over a defined period of time in a psychosocial arts-based curriculum. The youth learn new skills in painting and drawing, participate in activities designed to encourage reflection and emotional expression, build knowledge around important issues in the community, and engage in relationship-building activities.
8 projects located in refugee camps and post-war areas in Sub-Saharan Africa
directly benefiting 205 young people
and reaching an estimated 200,000 residents through a public mural-making process
MEET YOUTH ARTIVISTS
Colors of Connection’s projects are designed to be a catalyst for positive change in the lives of the youth we work with, instilling inner resources and knowledge that they can carry with them and build on through their life’s journey. The strength and resilience of these youth inspire us on a daily basis.
WE’RE COMMITTED TO PLAYING OUR PART
Through our unique arts-based approach Colors of Connection is filling a gap in services provided by the international aid and development sector for conflict-affected individuals and communities. We align our activities with the larger guiding framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and seek to add value to the sectors in which we work. As an organization that works specifically in low-income conflict-affected countries, we aim to play our role in helping achieve the United Nations SDG 2030 agenda.
Your gift provides a community with an opportunity for their collective voice to be heard.