14 South Africans representing Artscape Theatre Centre as one of the three partners to the combined Cultural construction of youth and young construction of culture, exchange programme will depart for Zambia on Saturday, 14 July, to meet their counterpart African partner, Barefeet Theatre, as well as the European partner Samba Résille, (France) to the project. Among them are, Martha Ndumile of Mfuleni, Micarlo Malan of Nyanga, Sibusiso Nyamakzi of Philippi and Nokonwaba Ndongeni of Khayelitsha.
Together they will continue this combined initiative that commenced earlier this year at Artscape, utilising arts and culture as a conduit towards empowering young people to prepare themselves as adults and help them strengthen their social and professional skills.
Working with the Barefeet Theatre non-governmental organisation (NGO) project the partners will utilise play, creativity, and empowerment to give vulnerable children in Zambia a chance at a better life. The NGO was founded by former street children as a response to the plight of young people living on Zambian streets. Through the power of performance, educational workshops, and more, they seek to develop vulnerable youth into physically healthy, cognitively, and socially competent young people. Through theatre, performance, psychosocial support, creativity, and self-expression Barefeet works to address the needs of these vulnerable children in 40 communities across the country and on the national stage at the annual Barefeet Youth Arts Festival. Additionally, our children advocate for change for their fellow youth in the Barefeet Children Council, comprised of elected representatives from their partner children centres. The also host an annual performace which generates income to support their outreach programmes and workshops.
Meanwhile the overall objectives of the tri-partite cultural exchange programme seeks to:
- Improve cooperative skills at international level and the quality of the socio-educational tools of all stakeholders;
- Strengthen creative and innovative skills of all participants, and
- Working on the internationalisation and the leadership of the partners to action their respective youth markets to take into account all the stakes linked to the cultural construction of youth and the young construction of culture.
The project, funded by the European Union (EU), fits the Erasmus + strategy for inclusion and diversity and wants to explore all the good practices that lead young people to live new educational and fulfilling experiences, allowing them to build themselves as adults and help them strengthen their social and professional skills. This project contributes to build a sustainable and inclusive society, due to its approach based on creative activities while it complements the general objectives of the renewed framework for the EU cooperation in the youth field, which aims to make a creative and innovative generation bloom.