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EU Hosts Youth Art Exhibition in Yumbe District to Amplify Creativity in West Nile

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An art exhibition organized by the European Union (EU) in Yumbe District marked the culmination of the “EU Youth Art Competition in West Nile,” an initiative launched during the 2023 World Refugee Day celebrations. The campaign aimed to provide a creative platform for youth residing in refugee-hosting districts of West Nile to express themselves through art.

The collaborative effort, conducted by Faces Up, a non-profit organization empowering youth through art, engaged 682 young individuals aged between 8 and 21 across three districts in West Nile. Art experts guided these young talents to craft artwork based on specific themes including empowerment and self-reliance, environmental conservation, governance and leadership, as well as access to justice and protection for peaceful and prosperous communities.

Roisin Carols, representing EU Ambassador Jan Sadek at the event, emphasized the EU’s dedication to nurturing artistic talent among youth, particularly in refugee and host communities. Carols highlighted the role of art in giving voice to young individuals, allowing them to express their creativity and become active citizens in their communities.

The European Union’s substantial support to the government of Uganda in offering humanitarian aid and long-term development assistance to both refugees and host communities is a crucial aspect of their commitment. Since 2016, the EU has allocated over €400 million in development and humanitarian aid to bolster the national refugee response, targeting various sectors beneficial to refugees and hosts alike.

With Uganda currently hosting over 1.5 million refugees, the majority being children, the EU’s support initiatives strive to address challenges faced by youths in refugee and host communities, including mental health issues, disrupted education, and shifting family dynamics.

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The EU’s assistance focuses on diverse sectors, such as skill development, livelihood support, promoting income-generating activities, and fostering resilience among refugees and host communities. Moreover, it reinforces access to essential services like education, water, hygiene, and sanitation, thus strengthening local governance.

To combat environmental degradation and enhance justice and protection for vulnerable groups, the EU’s interventions are strategically tailored to these specific needs in the hosting districts.

At the exhibition in Yumbe, the top 45 entries were showcased, and participating artists were recognized with certificates from the EU, along with art supplies for their personal use. The EU plans to further exhibit this artwork in Kampala in December after the successful showcase in West Nile.

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