January 30, 2010

AGYA Youth Add African Flavor to The Art of Breaking

Breaking, or breakdancing, is a style of dance that evolved as part of hip-hop culture among urban youth in New York during the 1970s. Arguably the most fluid and far-reaching aspect of hip-hop culture, breakdancing has taken Uganda by storm. Ugandan youth have embraced this unique style while incorporating some distinctly African elements of dance and movement in order to create a style which is fascinating to watch. AGYA offers breaking classes at our community learning center on a daily basis.

The following video features several AGYA Youth Member b-boys and b-girls during a recent rehearsal. Enjoy!

January 15, 2010

AGYA Welcomes Our First European Visitors From Sweden

To start the New Year, AGYA welcomed our first European visitors. 30-year old Goran Ericksson and 28-year Lisa Tagesson are a young, artistic couple from Sweden. Eriksson is a professional poker player and Tagesson, who just completed a Masters Degree in Visual Arts at Gothenburg University, recently spent 3 months in China and 1 year in Korea as an artist in residence. Within the last year, Eriksson and Tagesson have traveled to Malaysia, Laos, Korea, China, Thailand, Philippines, and India. A three-month tour of East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania) is just the latest stop on their journey of world travel.

Knowing they wanted to spend some time volunteering during their time in Africa, Eriksson and Tagesson searched on the internet for organizations that focused on art and creative expression. After searching for groups in Uganda, they stumbled upon AGYA’s blogspot. According to Eriksson and Tagesson, the Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association was one of the few organizations they found that was youth-centered and placed a priority on art and creativity programming. They were especially interested to learn that U.S.-based artist, Benjamin Rothschild, had recently spent 1 month in Uganda teaching art workshops. After arriving in Uganda in early January, Eriksson and Tagesson decided to spend 10 days living and volunteering at the AGYA Learning Center. “Staying at AGYA has been great because the atmosphere is so good, relaxed, and creative,” said Eriksson. Adds Tagesson, “Everything happening here is positive. It is very inspiring to constantly see creation with AGYA’s music, dance, and art programs.”

Above: Lisa shows AGYA Youth Member, Rodrigo, the proper way to start a crochet piece.

January 8, 2010

AGYA Begins 2010 With News of First Grant Award

AGYA is honored to announce the receipt of our first grant award from Save Africa’s Children, a U.S.-based non-profit organization that provides direct support and care to orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS, poverty and war throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. SAC partners with individuals, churches, grassroots organizations, government and corporate sectors, endeavoring to build a dynamic, diverse movement to restore hope and a future for Africa's children.

The $5,000.00 grant award will allow AGYA to fully cover the cost of the free lunch program for 12 months and double the number of children we currently serve! The key objective of the program centers on alleviating the burden facing families in the communities we serve by providing free lunch and clean drinking water to registered AGYA Youth Participants every Saturday and Sunday.