Young Artists from the Great Lake Region
in Kigali, Rwanda.

Atelier creatif de peinture, musique, danse, sculpture et culture.

mercredi 3 juillet 2013

About IriCreArt

General Information 
The Color of Development Creates Art "IriCreArt" is an organisation founded in the beginning of 2013, dealing with disadvantaged, underprivileged, marginalized and neglected children from Kacyiru. The target group of IriCreArt are girls and boys in the age of 6 up to 15 years, mainly coming from Kabatwa and belonging to the marginalized ethnic group of Abatwa. The office, the workshop and the gallery of IriCreArt are located in Kacyiru on the opposite to the back entrance of the Egyptian embassy.

The organization's name "The Color of Development Creates Art" expresses our main objective: Creativity. Conveyed in various artistic & cultural, sportive and educational lessons, it is a powerful instrument to help us raise confident, skillful, well-behaving, autonomous and respectful adolescents who will be able to contribute to the development of the Rwandan Nation.

IriCreArt brings together around 80 people, including 50 beneficiaries, several members from Rwanda and abroad, local and international partners, sponsors, advisors and up to 10 teachers giving lessons in the mentioned disciplines.

Our Vision, our mission and our objectives


All the ideas presented in the following are based on experiences we had with disadvantaged kids from Kacyiru. We were mainly motivated by what we saw: Some kids collecting trash (mainly metal rubbish, 1kg = 100 RWF), others going to the cinema instead of going to school, kids who have nobody who can correct their pieces of homework, no table to study at home and even no electricity which makes doing the homework nearly impossible. Kids who often have a lot of sisters and brothers, but no father to look after them. They are neglected three ways; because of the absence of their fathers, because of their poor living circumstances and because of their mentally weak surroundings.

The negligence is most obvious. The behaviors as well as the outward appearance reveal the latter. Some of our kids have a lot of caries , some do not clean themselves and their clothes, some are easily intimidated and afraid and others show aggressive behaviors towards others or themselves. Some of the kids we work with are not able to eat something every day because their parents lack financial means. They are kids who are prone to stealing (we had already a few cases in which our kids stole). Some kids are eating little insects and greens from the street. Some kids have fathers who are alcoholics and some whose parents are illiterate.
All these depicted experiences and many others contributed to our vision, our mission and our objectives. In the following we will capture the three main aspects of our vision , explain the inherent missions and state our concrete objectives. We will begin by the first aspect "Guaranteeing the school´s success", continue with the second aspect "Raising confident, skillful and autonomous adolescents" and end with the third aspect "Satisfying the kid´s basic needs".

Aspect 1: Guaranteeing the school´s success

Vision: We want to guarantee that every participant of IriCreArt learns at least for 6 years in school (basic education). We believe that this is necessary to find work, at least a low-skilled job. Our kids should be also eloquent in speech, creative in art and dances, able to read fluently, know about environmental issues and be able to work hard, in a disciplined way with good concentration . They should also learn how to behave towards each other in a group and how to help each other and cooperate . We believe that all this can be guaranteed by an well-accompanied school career. We do not want to accept that IriCreArt participants in the future should have  to repeat classes as they had to do in the past. (On average our registered kids repeated 2 classes). That is why our target group ranges from 6-year-old children up to the oldest who are 14.The majority of these are still in primary 1,2, or 3. At this point, we also want to emphasize the importance of starting school at 6 years of age. We think that missing a lot of school is frustrating because it reminds oneself every day of the poverty of the parents. Our overall target of this first aspect of the vision is to enable the children to climb up the social ladder.

Mission: By supervising that the school fees are paid regularly and if not by intervening, visiting the parents and in some cases by supporting the families with advices or money, by helping the participants of IriCreArt with their homework, motivating and advising them, we want to assure a successful school career. The disciplines we offer should serve as a means to animate the kids to experience themselves and to discover their strengths. We believe that how the kids are occupied in their free time, and what kind of input they get, affects how they are doing in school.

  • to arrange tutors who help with the homework , correct school works and accompany the kids´ school career more individually than teachers in school
  • to link school with the parents, intervene if the school problems cannot be solved by the parents
  • to offer lessons in different areas such as art & culture, education and sport (precisely explained in the next aspect)
  • to put some of our kids in charge of organizational works
  • to encourage the kids to help and motivate each other and to compete
  • to reward improvements and excellent accomplishments in school
  • to cooperate with the Umurenge of Kacyiru, for example by exchange knowledge on families and kids with them

Aspect 2: Raising confident, skillful, active and autonomous adolescents

Vision: Our vision is to raise confident, skillful, active and autonomous adolescents who will be able to provide a small family properly. By offering plenty opportunities, we hope the kids will discover their talents, - what they feel to be destined for life - work on them and develop them with our support. We will encourage them in their skills and talents, so that some of them may even become professional artists or may be at least able to perform a small show.
Apart from this direct profit, we believe that creativity, which will be learnt by participating in our lessons, can later also help to find innovative ideas, surviving tactics and will increase the happiness in general.

Mission: We want to provide the kids with a broad program, talking place during the weekend from the morning to the late afternoon and in special cases even during the week. The program should concentrate on artistic disciplines such as drawing and painting to live out imaginations visually, traditional dance to conserve the Rwandan Culture, Theatre playing to express the own feelings by choosing certain roles and Modern Dance. Furthermore, we want to occupy the children with playing football within our club "IriCreArt FC", with juggling (as a sportive and artistic discipline) and other kids of sport. As educational disciplines we want to offer Environmental, Health and Financial Education and additionally to arrange private teacher who can help the kids individually (see first aspect of our version).

  • to maintain the weekend´s program
  • to support and encourage the individual development of the children´s personality
  • to guarantee the quality of the given lessons
  • to help conserving the Rwandan Culture
  • to teach the kids to handle difficulties at home and process them mentally
  • to raise free-thinking, autonomous, independent adolescents who know how to care for themselves psychologically and physically
  • to discover the kids´ talents and to motivate them to improve these

Aspect 3: Satisfying the kids´ basic needs

Vision: We believe that the basic needs, especially while learning, should be satisfied. Some basic needs which depend on money cannot be satisfied by the kids themselves, still we think that most IriCreArt participants, as they are neglected by their parents, have to learn how do care properly for themselves earlier than other kids. We should support and help to gain independence and autonomy.
For us, the satisfaction of basic needs means also to assure that the kids have all school materials they need.
We believe that the psychological condition and herby mainly the self-esteem of the kids influences their school career, their personality development and their happiness in life in general. For that reason, we want to be available for the kids as counterparts to whom they can talk to and come to in any case. Our kids need counterparts, but also people who show a general interest in them, who believe in their skills, encourage their talents, praise them and judge their improvements and behaviors. Everybody involved in IriCreArt, as teacher or in the management is constrained to support the kids as described.
We believe also that role models which often cannot be found in the families are needed as an orientation. We, and a few of our kids who will be in charge of organizational  works within IriCreArt, should be role models.

Mission: By providing our participants with lunch during the weekends, by buying fruits and vegetables as vitamin sources from time to time, by cutting the children´s hair regularly so they can go to school, by buying shoes for them and accepting "cloths donations" by foreign visitors of IriCreArt and by listening and motivating, praising, encouraging and judging them, we try to satisfy some of their basic needs. Through Health Education and Environmental Education, we also want to enable the kids to care better for themselves. We focus on dental care, hygiene sensitization, nutrition and ecological awareness.

  • to motivate the participants to care better for themselves
  • to distribute lunch on the weekends
  • to support the kids mentally, accompany their personality development
  • to convey Health Education and Environmental Education
  • to buy necessary materials such as shoes, to cut the hair regularly
  • to distribute the donated clothes

lundi 10 juin 2013

Juggling requires dexterity

Starting with two newly bought tennis balls each, we trained our kids a juggling. A good exercise to increase concentration and dexterity. After a period of 2 hours, we could sort out three very talented kids who succeeded with 3 balls a few times. In order to cement and improve their skills, we borrowed them the balls for further training during the week.
Furthermore, Mako Nikoshwa brought the “Beat” of the song dealing with kids and instructed the kids how to sing to it.
Due to the success in the football game last weekend, one of our coaches, believing in the potential of the IriCreArt (The Color of Development creates Art) participants, founded the team “FC IriCreArt” which he will start to train also during the week.
Besides that, we continued with traditional dance and painting lessons as usual and are proud to announce that we have an official logo now. Find it below in the images!

mardi 4 juin 2013

Cheering can be as much fun as playing

For this weekend a football match was scheduled. It was a success for the IriCreArt-Team, winning 2 – 0 against the team of the S.O.S children village, .
Apart from our team which did quite well, the group feeling, which was underpinned by the vociferous cheering of the other participants of our program, was most encouraging.
The fans were supporting our team warmly and were being passionately committed to the game.
By shouts such as “Tufite Swagga, tufite Swagga...”, we have the swagga, we have he swagga, they backed the IriCreArt-Player successfully.
After the game the team as well as the supporters were rewarded by fruits being handed out. So much fun this weekend, events like this definitely have to be repeated! 


mardi 28 mai 2013

Soon hopefully official

The project continues as normal. Every weekend we renew our bond with the kids and we are approaching. In order to increase the identification with the group as well with the project in total we are soon going to produce an project song including some of our kids singing as a choir. The latter will be realized with the Rwandan Superstar and friend of the project Mako Nikoshwa. Everybody who is interested in listening to some of his nation wide hits in advance, is welcome to visit his page on ReverbNation (

In this weekend´s program we just undertook little changes. As we had difficulties to reserve the football pitch of the “Croix Rouge” here in Kacyiru, originally purposed to be a shelter for refugees, we moved to the terrain of the S.O.S Children Village which even offer a much nicer playground.
Unfortunately, the “Children´s Corner” conducted by the Goethe Institute and focusing on Reading and Storytelling could not be conducted because of the Kigali´s new city planing which forces the German Cultural Institute to move places. Bad news, but today we will negotiate about the future collaboration.

Much more gratifying is the process of the registration which is now being accelerated. I think the most important assignment will be done in just a view weeks! Than IriCreArt (The Color of Development creates Art) will be finally official.

Unfortunately, we forgot to take photos this weekend, therefore more will be presented in the next article on this blog

mardi 14 mai 2013

Professional traditional dancers as role models

A show with traditional dances and music instruments being played enriched the weekend´s program of the Atelier this time. Thanks to a partnering project, a professional performance had been showed to our children this Sunday, hopefully serving as a motivation for the kids to improve the own dancing skills. At least the young dancers were impressed.

Besides that, we continued the garden project in order to supply Environmental Education. Flower-beds, interrupted by little soil paths, were laid out and marked by wood sticks. Now it is still a question of time to see the first results.

Moreover, our theatre teacher was able to study a new sketch with the kids. That rose a lot of attention among the kids.
The female dance teacher for our girl group, which was recently added to our former boys group and is still growing, taught the girls a lot of new steps. Unbelievable, but the girls seem to learn much faster then all the other groups, they were able to show a quite sophisticated show in the end of the weekend.
We also continued singing lessons for everybody and guitar lessons for chosen students being tall enough to handle an adult guitar.

Concerning our groups, I have to announce that we grouped the kids by age now:
Group 1: Girls from 6 - 10
Group 2: Girls from 11 - 14
Group 3: Boys from 6 - 10
Group 4: Boys from 11 - 12
Group 5: Boys from 13 – 15

We undertook this division to be able to concentrate better on each individual and mostly in order to have groups of kids with the same mental skills and maturity.

At hand some pictures to described activities of IriCreArt (The Color of Development creates Art).