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Rachel commented on Helping Refugees to help themselves

I love your idea. Everything starts from within - from the individuals in focus. So many programs are copy-pasted from somewhere else. Good luck!

Hi, Samantha,
Thanks for the your feedback. Yes indeed I do believe the arts can be utilized in many ways in the community. I am happy to stay in touch and connected with you and also communities in Sri Lanka and other countries. Kind regards and best wishes for your project. Rachel

Thanks Natasha,
it is really exciting to have an opportunity to participate in this challenge and see so many amazing projects and ideas. Awesome. Let me answer your question.
We started #mytribeisart 7 months ago, so this is just the beginning. I believe the growth and steadfastness of our platform within such a short time is first and foremost the Grace of God – and hard work.

I believe the main strategy that has helped us sustain engagement on our platform traces back to the foundation of the group. When we started we shared a clear vision of #mytribeisart that stated clearly who we are, what we wanted to do, with whom and where we were headed. So right from the beginning the few who started with us were like minded. Those who got involved came with their dreams and visions and as they shared they got moral support and cheering on from the group. One attribute in our way of building the platform which I believe has played a key role in keeping the platform together and growing it – is because every member was actively involved right from the beginning they identify with ownership of the platform. Also, all projects we undertake are generated from the suggestions the platform members are interested in. Every success, big and small, is celebrated automatically when shared on the platform. Every failure so far has been a learning opportunity. The visions and dreams of the members for their communities have ranged from encouraging school dropouts to go back to school, sanitation and hygiene in the community, tree planting and nurturing, clean-ups, poverty eradication debates inter alia. These discussions have kept the various #mytribeisart platforms lively whether online or physically. We share some of the developments on the various handles we utilise like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp etc. and in physical groups in the communities.
Two years down the line the success I would like to see are tangible results from the time and resources we are investing on our platform – based on organic growth (no extra substantial financial and organisational support):

1. That the members have experienced an improved situation, so that those who were jobless have acquired skills that lead to a steady source of income.

2. Rural talented artists have gotten possibilities to organise or participate in exhibitions and festivals where their work and services can get exposure.

3. The programs the members have undertaken in their communities like environmental awareness, tree planting, hygiene etc have grown further, spread and that tangible results can be seen.

4. A substantial increase in number of #mytribeisart people (artists) spreading to other rural communities beyond rural Kenya where we have begun.

5. Several local #mytribeisart groups have been empowered to manage and run operations on the ground.

6. A membership fee that will sustain #mytribeisart activities on the ground; like arranging exhibitions and festivals.

7. Structured art lessons and awareness/educational programs using the arts to impact areas like ethnic issues, peace, environmental protection, entrepreneurship etc.

8. Regular festivals and exhibitions

9. Mainstream media exposure
10. A fully developed web site for promoting rural artists, group activities and programs, marketing and selling artwork and booking talent.

On a bigger level, our aim is that #mytribeisart we hope to join other bigger organisations in the quest for eradicating extreme poverty, stabilizing peace, and influence grass-root people into participating in environmental care and replenishing forest cover.

Kind regards, Rachel Mwakazi Skjærpe