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Listening to the voices of our young people

The Creativity Together collaboration project with Clowns Without Borders South Africa is well underway and moving into its penultimate sessions with a group of children at Lefika. It has been both an exciting and challenging project. This project aimed to engage collaboratively amongst organisations, facilitators and the group of selected children (aged 12-13), to better understand and support the children using the arts (since the pandemic). During the activities, creative engagements and reflections, there appeared to be strong themes of bullying and mistrust within the group, many of which appeared to be connected to the challenging and often violent communities around them. By actively listening to the kids, and engaging in these themes creatively, the facilitators were able to witness (over a fairly short period of time) some of the positive changes they feel have taken place in the sessions and in the kids themselves – this has included a steady and progressive growth in trust within the group and in their facilitators, as well as an observed increased ability, or perhaps even willingness, to communicate and play together. Emilie Owen Raposo, project lead, remarks: "This has been both a group and facilitation journey. I think that the kids, consciously and unconsciously, have taught us as facilitators how to be and work with them, allowing enough trust and safety to be created for both joy and hardship to be expressed and explored".
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