Art helps children picture their fears and concerns in Uganda – Joel, aged 15

My name is Atube Joel and I am 15 and from Namokora in Northern Uganda.  The project I am working on is called ART FOR CHILDREN and I have started it to help children understand their rights through painting.

My project started in 2011 in April. The project deals with the drawing and the painting of the pictures on how the children are really mistreated by their parents and the communities they live in.  According to me as a young social entrepreneur, it really feels very bad to see my fellows are mistreated. That made me to start the project mentioned above.

In a brief description, the children’s right refers to the right of the child to have the special needs that they desire from their parents and the communities they live in.

In this project, we paint in a way that can sensitize the community about the proper caring of the children. The local councilor of the community should be responsible for taking action on those groups of people who abuse children in the communities they live.

These acts always make the children uncomfortable in the communities and are types of children’s right that I see ignored often in my village:

  1. RIGHT  TO EAT.  As a child, he/she have the right to eat in order for them to grow well and healthy. This also gives a child an opportunity to do work, play among others because It has given energy. Proper foods with good diet help the child’s body to fight certain diseases because it provide them with the body immunity.
  2. RIGHT FOR EDUCATION.  A child have right to be educated. Their parents have to take them to school so that they get knowledge to make them literate and this make them good future generation for example, they may be doctor, pilot or even president which may lead them to better life in future.
  3. RIGHT TO INTERACT WITH OTHERS OR PLAY.  Children have right to interact with others to make friends and get physical exercise to make their body fit and healthy. These make them to learn more from their friends and be social in the community.
  4. RIGHT FOR MEDICAL CARE.  Children have right for good medical care from their parents if they are sick. They are suppose to be taken to hospital by their parents to make them recover from the disease  attacking them and this make them feel the love of the family on them.
  5. RIGHT FOR GOOD CLOTHING.  Children have a right to have good clothing. These should be provided by the parents of the children. This makes the children very happy with their parents and stays comfortable in the community with their fellow friends
  6. RIGHT TO STAY CLOSE TO THEIR PARENTS.  Children have the right to stay close to their parent to make them enjoy lives together, know where their family started from, and know their homeland as their parents could tell them.

Here is a video of my work:

When we paint, we usually paint about subjects that concern us, such as child abuse and so I am giving some examples here of some of the types of paintings we have done:

1. CHILD NEGLECT

Child denied food by its father

This is the situation where by some parents or the guardians of some child neglect or refuse their children for several reasons and among others include the following

  • If the child that has lost his/her parents is HIV positive, the guardians may refuse to take care of the child.
  • If the child keep on doing wrong things that are always costly to the parents some of the parents may refuse to regard them as their child to reduce the rate of the waste of the money.

Child neglect may lead to the rise of the street children, which normally cost a lot to the government.

2. CHILD LABOUR.

Child labour – a girl carries a baby, firewood and a 10litre jerrycan

This form of child abuse is majorly carried out in the rural areas. Children are made to carry heavy loads for example in Uganda you can find a 5 year old child being forced to carry 10 litter jerry can of water which may lead to internal injury like the cracking of the back bone.

3. CHILD SACRIFICE

The woman wants to sacrifice her son to the witchdoctor

This is the act of giving the child to evils in order to find something like richness. Some of the children are taken to the witch doctors who may kill them or pick away some parts of the body

Child neglect also lead to the death of some children because of the attack by the disease and have no one to take care and give them medical care. Some can even decide to commit so aide due to hard life they are facing.

4. CORPORAL PUNISHMENT AND BATTERING

The mother chooses punishment without thinking

This involves  the serious beating of the child by the parents in case of any small thing he have done wrong e.g. like if the child refuse to do certain work the parents ordered for. Some of them are also refused food from home by the parents. So, this makes me to come out with the idea that parents should always learn to analyze the situation where by their children are going to find why they always do wrong and try to solve the situation or problem  but not just by beating every time they do wrong.

WE HAVE MANY MORE PAINTINGS ON A RANGE OF SUBJECTS AND WE WILL TRY TO POST THEM SOON.

ADVICE TO THE PARENTS.

Parent should always give necessary supports to their children in order to make them enjoy their rights, good living in the family and then make them to be the good future generation

Let them have chance to educate, play with others, enjoy time with family members etc.

ADVICE TO THE CHILDREN.

Children should always show much more respect to their parents, follow their instructions and do what they tell them to do.

THE PROBLEM FACING MY PROJECT.

Problem of requirements for running the project like paints, brushes, painting papers, sketching pencils, and some washing soaps to give the members since painting dirty them a lot.

Communication to transfer the messages from the project to improve on the children’s right.

Please support my project so that we fight against child abuse together.

YOU CAN SUPPORT JOEL THROUGH PAYPAL BELOW

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