Upcoming Projects

M’Shujarts! : A Goma Girls Collective

Spring 2020

Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo

75 Participants

Promote gender equality and challenge gender stereotypes

This program supports marginalized adolescent girls as artistic agents of change in their community.

Over the course of two previous programs (Tunaweza Portraits and Courage in Congo) we have laid the groundwork to establish a locally-led group of young women and girl artists in Goma. In this program we will build on these foundations to create a locally run structure, a girls’ collective.

About the program: we will train facilitators to run activities, and provide a safe space where girls can regularly meet with mentors, learn artistic skills and other life skills tailored to their economic, social and health needs. True to the artistic origins of the program, it will include community outreach through public art as a way to engage girls and their communities in understanding and addressing issues that impact girls and women. In this work, girls who are usually marginalized and pushed to the sidelines, will utilize the platform of public art to call attention to issues that impact them and create imagery about women and girls that challenge harmful social norms and promote gender equality.

This program is being designed to be locally sustainable and long term. We are receiving technical support from the Population Council in the areas of: scaling, recruitment, mentoring structures, and strengthening local staff.

About the name: M’shujarts! The ‘M” stands for ‘mwanamke’ (women), ‘mwanume’ (men), and also ‘movement’ – indicating that this is a movement for women, but that men are also included and encouraged to engage. ‘Shuj’arts’ is a combination of ‘shujaa’ meaning ‘leader’ (as the girls now often call themselves and/or their group) and the ‘arts’.

Youth Collaborating for Peace through Art

Date TBD

Jos, Nigeria

36 youth

Preventing substance abuse and the culture of violence

In partnership with the Jos Stakeholder Center for Peace, Colors of Connection will work with youth and community stakeholders in Jos, Nigeria, to address the issues of the culture of violence and substance abuse that detrimentally affect their community.  Jos is located in the middle belt of Nigeria, a meeting point between the Christian south and the Muslim north.

Colors of Connection will engage youth in Jos in a creative and collaborative mural-making process, transforming physical landscapes into visual expressions of their proposed solutions to these issues. We look forward to working with the youth and community leaders to create  stories within the murals that will help the community address these concerns, and to celebrate and elevate the cultural expression of young citizens, allowing them greater representation in community leadership. As recognized by the United Nations Security Council Resolution  2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, youth are indispensable partners in building international peace and security, and it is imperative that they are able to have full and equal participation in all levels of decision-making in their communities and governments. 

About our partner: The Jos Stakeholder Center for Peace (JCSP) is a local peacebuilding non-governmental organization.  Initiated by Search for Common Ground in 2017, JCSP works to address and prevent violence through diverse community stakeholder engagement. The JSCP is part of the field-testing of a new approach to peacebuilding that utilizes collective impact.  

The implementation schedule for this project depends on when funding is secured. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Project Director Christina Mallie at christina@colorsofconnection.org

Here are three ways you can help

Give $25 and you can pay for food to fuel a teen artivist’s creative energy during a project.

Organize a bake sale, find people to sponsor your run, host an afternoon tea, or create a personalized fundraiser on Facebook.

Instead of asking for a birthday gift, ask that your family and friends give a donation in your honor.