6. Children Overcoming Conflict & Displacement through the Arts
The programme component focuses on ethnic Kachin children and youth, also known as Jinghpaw in Myanmar, who have been effected by armed conflict since June 2011. Many of them have become Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in the border line where they experience continuous trauma and instability after being separated from their homes and families, and being deprived of their cultural heritage. The project’s goal is to creatively encourage the younger Kachin generation to overcome conflict and displacement through artistic expression, and engage them in reconstructing healthy peaceful societies in Myanmar.
It provides them with a component missing from their scholastic studies through engaging them in the arts. This project is also being documented through videos, photographs and interviews of affected persons in the conflict zone.
Year One Results
An office was set up in Laiza, and staff gathered baseline data on 2,927 students attending 3 schools from which 350 students were selected to participate in the project. Students were offered a painting class which produced 1,087 paintings by as many primary school students. One more painting and drawing class was offered in February 2015, with 120 students that produced as many paintings. The first cross border exchange opportunity was initiated for 50 Kachin children using mud sculpture. Stories were gathered of how displacement and war has affected 9 community members and 20 students. Project awareness was raised on 5 occasions when groups of visitors came and viewed small exhibits of the children’s art and listened to the impact of the project on student’s lives.