“It’s What I Can Do” – Lessons Learned From a Four-Year-Old

A reflection about trying to make even a slight difference in a world with an ever increasing need. Linda will talk about her work in development in Africa and fair trade and will have just returned from a trip to Uganda.

Linda Stolz is Director of Therapeutic Arts Program with Global Alliance for Africa and has been coordinating trips to Kenya and Tanzania for more than a decade. She has spoken to our fellowship twice before and is back for another presentation about her passionate work with the people and country she loves.

She will also be bringing African-crafted items for sale as part of her fair-trade import business, Soko Rafiki.


About the Therapeutic Arts Program:
In 2006, Global Alliance for Africa implemented an arts program for orphans and vulnerable children who had lost loved ones due to HIV/AIDS in Kenya and Tanzania. Since then, Global Alliance has established permanent therapeutic arts programs in both countries. In addition, every year groups of American artists, teachers and students travel to East Africa with Global Alliance to work closely with African artists for the purpose of on-going training, and also for planning and conducting annual art camps for hundreds of children.

In order to develop a more meaningful experience for these children, in 2008 Global Alliance started a consultation with the Art Therapy Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for the purpose of training artists in Tanzania and Kenya to work in therapeutic arts with children. Faculty members from The School of the Art Institute and George Washington University in Washington, D.C. have collaborated with GAA to develop a training manual for the African artists who have agreed to become trainees, and to provide support for their therapeutic work with children.

The program currently consists of visual arts, music, dance and drama programs in locations in Kenya and Tanzania. These are in both rural and urban locations, and a diverse population of orphaned and vulnerable children benefit from these programs. Currently, approximately 200 – 400 children per month participate in the therapeutic arts programs. The para-professionals that Global Alliance works with are very capable and innovative, and have achieved significant results with the children in the program.