Uganda Art Consortium - Art Therapy
The author Hassan Mukiibi with artist Annette Nakafu.

Uganda Art Consortium - Art Therapy

Uganda Art Consortium has been holding twice-weekly art therapy sessions for HIV-AIDS patients at the Infectious Diseases Institute at Mulago Hospital in Kampala.

By Uganda Art Consortium
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First published: October 13th, 2010


By Hassan Mukiibi


Since August, Uganda Art Consortium has been holding twice-weekly art therapy sessions for HIV-AIDS patients at the Infectious Diseases Institute at Mulago Hospital in Kampala. I was one of the volunteers who organized the sessions with the help of Makerere Art Professor Kizito Fred Kakinda. Other volunteers helping with the class are Michael Omadi, Andrew Sekibala, Harrison Davis and Tony Bukenya. The Uganda Art Consortium is a project of Kisa Foundation USA.

One of the people in our classes is Zam Nakawoya, a single mother living with HIV. Every Thursday and Tuesday she comes to Mulago Hospital Infectious Diseases Institute for her medical check up. As a result of UAC's classes, she has developed a thriving business making necklaces and bracelets from paper beads from re-cycled paper. She is earning a living and buying basic needs for herself and her two children ages 13 and 10, including the kids' school fees. "I have been able to teach my children to help me, and now they can make these beads, giving us a labor force of three people," she says about her growing business.

"Having a way to make a living gives me new hope to live," Zam says. “The art work also helps me occupy my mind, and not to worry to much about my medical problems."


Butterfly cllage
Butterfly collage

Beer Drinkers by Nafuku
Beer Drinkers by Nafuku

Another patient, Annette Nakafu, a talented artist, faced huge challenges when she became ill in 2002. “My husband abandoned me and our two children when he found out I had AIDS. We were immediately very poor. There are very few ways a single mother can make a living and take care of her children. But I was able to make some artwork that I could sell and provide food and rent.”

Nafuku collage
Nafuku collage

She says her work has improved greatly since she started taking the UAC art therapy workshops. “Volunteers like Hassan and Fred have given me even more skills than I had. They have helped me improve my tie-dye, batik and bead work. I've sold several works recently, and my standard of living has definitely improved. They have given me hope.”

Elizabeth Tindeyebwa
Elizabeth Tindeyebwa

Another workshop participant, Elizabeth Tindeybwa makes jewelry from recycled paper, and collages from fabric scraps. She said, "When I started making these beads in the workshop, I never dreamed they could be such a help to me," she says. "Many thanks to Hassan and Fred and their team may God bless them all."

By Uganda Art Consortium
more from author >>
First published: October 13th, 2010
The Uganda Art Consortium sponsors art workshops for orphans and poor children in Uganda, and holds art therapy sessions for HIV-AIDS patients, and other victims of disease and misfortune.

Uganda Art Consortium is a project of Kisa Foundation USA. Please visit our website at http://ugandart.com.