The ability to express -- in words, paintings, music, dance or any other tool of communication -- can empower individuals, enabling them to convey feelings, needs, desires and moods. This holds especially true for children
Children are the most vulnerable group in a society and the most liable to be traumatized through neglect, mistreatment, abuse, and trafficking.
In 2008, Sanjog and Dugdugi got together on one platform to work with groups of children who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances with limited opportunities. The idea was an initiation towards understanding expression and importance of creativity in development work.
The question was - how could creativity be linked to child protection? The answer was simple, because all development work is linked to empowerment, and the key to empowerment is expression. The ability to express starts empowering individuals and groups at a very subtle level. People begin to understand themselves, with self-awareness; issues around self-esteem begin to be addressed automatically.
Through 'Colours of Children' it was decided to use art to explore the ways to deal with children under abuse, threats and trauma; to create an imagery of children by themselves that would help tell their stories and promote an understand of 'self' within them.
We also decided to celebrate the Universal Children's Day, 20th November, 2008, to create a space where children would feel comfortable and express their inner selves. An exhibition of the children's work was held on this day to show case their artistic talents. Celebration of such days also brings a collective energy among the people involved in working for or with children.
The collective joy was in fact so stimulating, that we wanted to continue working with children in 2009. This time we decided to introduce the written word as a tool of expression along with art. This too was a great success and another exhibition of the new work was held in June 2009.
The following individuals and organizations deserve special thanks for their contribution towards the success of this project:
All the participating children.
Sanjog [Asad Najeeb, Sana Khawaja, Uzma Basheer]
Dugdugi [Huma Haider, Iftikhar-ul-Hasan, Imran Nafees Siddiqui, Lukas Berger, Mohammed Umer, Rizwan Waheed Abbasi, Zahra Memood,
SHEED [Strengthening Health Education Environment and Development]
GODG [Grass root Organization for Development Human Rights]
CPWB Child Protection Welfare Bureau for Boys
CPWB Child Protection Welfare Bureau for Girls
Dugdugi is the name of a group of artists, each with their own creative fields, who have joined hands to bring joy to those who need to express themselves, and bring forth their creativity, the less privileged and the survivors of life's hardships. Dugdugi works to create environments where society can express itself creatively and breathe freely.