eKhaya eKasi Art and Education Centre -- a South African nonprofit organization founded by Art Aids Art -- hosts an annual Arts & Literacy Camp during the Easter school holidays. The camp provides children and adults with opportunities for creative self-expression and literacy development in a safe, supportive environment. The photo-journal below gives an insider's view!
The 2017 session begins with a persona doll activity for women, encouraging self-expression through storytelling.
For artisans accustomed to producing art to sell, the experience of making a keepsake is unfamiliar and joyous.
Each day includes dramatic reading activities...
...and time for free movement...
...followed by a Soul Train line dance...
...which the men eagerly join. At eKhaya eKasi, connecting physical intelligence with other forms of knowing is an essential part of daily educational practice.
For the second year, the Center hosts a Sexuality Education and Reproductive Health workshop for girls and mothers. This time, boys and men also attend, and are valuable contributors to the discussion.
Anatomical study is an important element...
...along with other fundamentals in health education. Here, participants listen to their heartbeats for the first time. Connection to one's own body is essential for self-knowledge, self-love, and self-care.
In the video below, participants practice self-defense by using words to repel and expose a sexual predator.
The 3-day intensive concludes with a circle of love as the adults commit to support the younger generation. "We've got your backs!"
The younger children arrive, bursting with energy!
Warmups challenge focus, strength,...
The adults take the lead in an intergenerational Soul Train dance.
The children show that they keep up... and then some!
After a successful introduction last year, the older children resume their rehearsals of a South African version of The Wizard of Oz.
Meanwhile, the youngest focus on an historical coloring book.
Sorting crayon provides an opportunity for color identification and classification... and has never been more precise!
The spirit of Ubuntu -- the southern African value of interconnectedness -- is evident throughout the 2 weeks of camp...
...as women from the artisan training program participate alongside the children in activities. Here the women lead interactive storytelling with enthusiastic results!
The cast of the Wizard of Oz shows remarkable persistence as they prepare for a dramatic reading.
Costume selection becomes a dramatic event in itself!
When the day of dress rehearsal arrives, the team performs with spirit and professionalism. They have committed to continuing rehearsals in preparation for a special performance at the center's 10th anniversary celebration next year!
What's next? To learn what you can do to help eKhaya eKasi celebrate 10 years, click here.