Having gained independence only 20 years ago, Namibia is a nation in transition. The future of the southern African country is challenged by resource scarcity, an unstable economy, social issues and poverty. With half of the Namibian population under twenty years years of age, it’s vital for their generation to be of sound body and mind in order to ensure viability for future generations. To help make this a reality we bring you our Kickstarter of the Week featuring Art Therapy Project: New York to Namibia. This small organization is poised to foster the development of Namibia’s youth through the power of art and creative expression.
Art Therapy Project: New York to Namibia is led in part by Cheryl Walpole, a Pratt Institute alum and licensed Creative Arts Therapist. Walpole uses art therapy to nurture self-esteem and develop sustainable coping mechanisms in children crucial to their mental well being. This is especially important for those who have been victimized by their social, environmental, and economic surroundings. Through this program the children of Namibia will be encouraged to develop their creative thinking abilities within the security of a supportive learning environment. Walpole and Art Therapy Project: New York to Namibia has already established a collaboration with a local organization, Namib Desert Environmental Educational Trust (NaDEET). Last year the two organizations came together in Namibia and produced a seven week art camp for children ages 12-15 years old.
By applying methods unique to the practice of art therapy to their larger humanitarian effort, Art Therapy Project: New York to Namibia is an excellent example of social innovation in action. The goal of this Kickstarter project is to fund the organization’s return to Namibia in order to establish a creative arts program that can be sustained by local teachers and artists on a continual basis. Contributions to the $7,500 goal may seem small, but the return on your investment will be invaluable in shaping to the future of this struggling nation. Check out the project’s Kickstarter page to learn more about their plans.