There is increasing interest in the role of arts in healthcare and a growing consensus that participation in art activities can have a transformative impact upon the lives of young people. As part of HACEY’s commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of women and girls in Nigeria, HACEY in partnership with BuildaBridge, a New York- based organization organized a 3-day Safe Space Art Camp for young girls from two communities in Lagos State.
Prior to the art camp, Kelly Finlaw, board member from BuildaBridge provided arts-based training for HACEY staff. The 2-day training offered foundation courses in using art as a teaching medium in safe spaces, art rituals, art as metaphor, and multiple intelligences. The Safe Space Art Camp which used the BuildaBridge model for learning taught the girls about leadership and career, sexual reproductive health and rights and life-skills through art.
Kelly Finlaw also provided professional support for HACEY staff who facilitated the Safe Space Art Camp.
Some of the highlights of the art camp included illustrating sexual reproductive health and rights topics with music, dance and drama, knitting classes, games, excursion to Nike Art Gallery, life skills training, leadership and career talks.
HACEY’s Safe Space is a program that provides the opportunity for girls aged 14-20 to learn about their sexual and reproductive health, leadership, career and feel free to openly express themselves in a safe, confidential and non-judgmental environment. The Girl’s Space is non-threatening and non-competitive and allows every participant to engage with our programs equally. It also provides free walk-in counselling, learning resources, monitored computer access, capacity building and skills training programs for girls. The monthly activities are developed to foster personal, emotional and educational development and support girls in making the right choices for themselves.
BuildaBridge is a non-profit 501(c)3 arts education and intervention organization based in New York. Their mission is to engage creative people and the transformative power of art making to bring hope and healing to marginalized communities (children, youth, adults, families, etc.) in the contexts of crisis and poverty.