Amy – Uganda


Amy – Uganda

Amy, a 17 year old girl from Amor village, is currently living with her mother while attending her last year of boarding school near Kampala.

Amy began attending the arts therapy sessions later in the programme. She would come in discreetly and quietly sit in the back of the classroom without greeting anyone. She looked older than the rest of the group and did not participate in any of the games.

  • Dreams by Amy

During the session on “children's rights", the therapist asked Amy to share her artwork (image 20). This is when she realised that Amy was a young, ambitious women with dreams for herself and her community. A big part of this could be due to Amy's access to better education. She had her own strong opinions and a view of the world based on her experiences. Therapists who could sense her maturity beyond her age, were intrigued by her quietness.

During the children's rights session, Amy spoke about her love for God and that the things she did in her life, she put God first. Amy said, “The closer you get to God, the more your problems are solved because each and every problem you have, you must consult God before consulting anyone".

Over time, as more sessions past, she opened up about her dreams and how she believed that God could help her achieve her dreams of becoming a lawyer. “I want Him to help me have a clean and kind heart to help others who are suffering", Amy said, “I want to study law to help children who are orphans and fight for their rights".

Moving forward in the program, Amy seemed to become more involved with the group and became more open about sharing aspects of herself. She appreciated being part of the group. Amy said, “When we come together like this, we learn about each other. I learned about the local when we come together like this and I also love the people who are here".

The Arts Therapy program helped Amy express herself more openly in front of others, share her ideas, and also gain more confidence. “I am enjoying doing arts even if I am not good at it", Amy said.

During the last part of the program, Amy attended almost all the sessions, which showed a shift in her attitude. She was now part of the group, mingling with the others girls, and helped translate to younger girls who didn't speak English. She opened up about her story, her dreams and her feelings.

During the paper mâché bowl session (image 21), she said that the bowl represented moments of happiness as well as moments of sadness. “I am happy when I am with my mother and friends. I am sad like when I lost my dad", Amy said, “I am not very happy because I only with my mum but I know slowly by slowly I will gain my happiness again".

For the first time in a long time, she was able to express the difficult moments she face in her life. Later in the session, she showed a picture (image 22) and said, “sometimes I can be in a dark place and I can still stay strong." She also shared her love and interest for fashion (image 23).