The Yuva Arts Project is set to take place in Kitchener-Waterloo area in May 2019 for a two week period.
A group of 6-8 Indian youth from Kamathipura, who are children of commercially sexually exploited women, will travel to Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada where they will have the opportunity to collaborate in various arts-based projects with Indigenous and refugee youth. Using creative arts as a medium, this exchange will be aimed towards building understanding and friendship, as well as addressing various social challenges faced by these youths while collectively exploring solutions. The artistic projects will be led by professional community artists and groups such as MT Space, Dr. Gerard Yun, Gary Diggins, Inshallah Choir, Neruda Arts, Reception House and many others. The youth will be exposed to music therapy sessions, contemplative music-making workshops, song-writing workshops, music theatre workshops and South-American Arpillera craft workshops. A final showcase will be organized and open to the KW public, exhibiting their own cultural art forms as well as the collaborative pieces that they have worked on.
It is essential for the youth from India to disconnect from their existing social pressures in India, in which they experience a lack of freedom in their ability to address issues of identity and expression. The multicultural communities within Kitchener-Waterloo will provide these youth with new perspectives which may encourage the renegotiation of their identities. By being exposed to different environments, the youth will have the opportunity to strengthen their self-efficacy through self-expression and performance, which will encourage them to inspire positive changes within themselves and their communities.
Due to the cultural stigma surrounding the profession of their mothers, the youth are unable to break the vicious cycle of sex trade. This project is an opportunity for them to reconsider their options and guide them towards inspiration and motivation to strive for a better future, not just for themselves, but for their communities. Let us join hands in creating a difference in the lives of our youth!