You’re escaping from a life threatening situation and you and your family make it to the safety of a refugee camp. You have shelter and a little food and nourishment; you are safe and alive — but what about living?
Good mental health in refugee camps is hard to sustain, understandable when people have had to leave homes, jobs, communities, schools and friends without any idea of what the future will hold. For residents in Uganda’s Nakivale and Kyaka 2 camps, Refugee Talent Group Center RTG is encouraging young people to express themselves through dance, music and poetry both to celebrate their culture and create relationships and as a strategy to manage a myriad of frustrations and emotions.
Papsher Babu ni Babu is the founder of RTG, which runs workshops, events and activities in the two refugee camps and has already touched the lives of 850,000 people.
The enterprise was recognised last week when it won best Social Enterprise at the Wezesha Impact Awards along with UGX 200,000 in recognition for its educational arts programme. The awards are designed to highlight work which helps young people to thrive both socially and economically.
As well as providing a safe space for self-expression and learning through the creative arts, RTG also encourages personal development through non-violent communication and runs workshops that people in the refugee camps can use to transition from an uncertain future, to one where they can flourish and rebuild.
Follow and support RTG here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100070173725467