Dewe School of Art, Uganda
Dewe School of Art is a completely unique non-profit organisation dedicated to helping development in the rural community of Dewe, Uganda. It was established to bring education, creativity and practical skills to people who could not normally access such opportunities.
Dewe School of Art seeks to help young people and adults who have been unable to complete education, and we also support orphans.
The project was founded by Sam Mukumba, an artist and educator who shares his time between Uganda and the UK. Here is how he explains the project:
"Dewe is a fishing village between Entebbe and Kampala on the edge of Lake Victoria, Uganda. I wanted to create a space for human interaction focussing on art and creativity, developing awareness and practising matters concerning and relating to the environmental issues and building bridges between humans of different races."
"We started looking at the lack of food as a major factor in human suffering in Africa. So work started with developing gardens for vegetables and herbs, identifying medicinal plants and introducing new plants. Where the school is built, there are a lot of commercial flower growers using a range of toxic pesticides and fertilizers which is having the effect of reducing the population of insects such as bees which are responsible for pollination. These pesticides and fertilizers are also damaging the soils in the area."
"The level of food production in this area is reducing so we are introducing ideas which can help revitalise the insect world such as introducing beehives and plants that attract insects. At the sametime we are trying to educate people to understand what is happening in their neighbourhood."
"We are working strictly within the limits of organic farming. Being a fishing village, people are living on subsistence income and can’t afford to send their children to school. The majority of the young girls become mothers at a very early age (15 – 16). So the idea of the school is to create an opportunity for them to attend an alternative way of education based on practical skills. Also the project is taking on some responsibility: it will include supporting 50 children under the age of seven, with their clothing needs, school bags, bedsheets, blankets, mosquito nets etc."
"Our projects are related to helping any human needs in the area."