Youth Paint a New Haiti

I came across a youth art program run by a community clinic called the Association for the Promotion of Family Integrated Health (APROSIFA). Beverly Bell reports in today’s Huffington Post: “APROSIFA’s youth art program began in 2009 in a couple of cement-block rooms in the back of the clinic. A few professional artists donated their time to teach. Today, 68 youth from ages 8 to early 20s are painting and sculpting. A few of the youth who began learning two years ago are now teaching the others.”

This is so wonderful to learn about, and while I’m certainly prone to negative visceral reactions to anecdotal stories as proxies for success, even I have a weakness for this sort of messaging. This quote is from 22-year-old art student Islande Henry. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was her muse as she prepared for an art show in Port-au-Prince last month.

To me, CEDAW is a beautiful thing. It speaks to the restav├Ęk [child slavery] system and how those kids have no rights. It speaks to violence against women, and how women are mistreated in society, and how there are so many things they can’t do from serving in Parliament to playing ball.

Our artwork says, ‘No! Women can do anything. Women must have access to everything this society offers.

I love the combination of social commentary, youth engagement, and using art to express ambition for a country’s future, and I wonder what opportunities there are to engage women in artful expression while waiting for a doctor’s visit…

This entry was posted on by Allison Howard-Berry.