To sustain and grow our empowerment initiatives through the arts, Beauty for Freedom partnered with Challenging Heights teaching an arts therapy initiative featuring photography, watercolor painting and mural workshops to over 300 youth at the CH Friends International Academy and 58 young survivors of labor trafficking currently housed in the recovery program at The Hovde House Rescue Center. Beauty for Freedom brought in over 150 lbs of art supplies and professional DSLR camera equipment the youth used to create original artwork in the workshop series from June 24-July 7th.
The workshops culminated in a community art exhibition on view for over 50 parents, friends and community members all supporting the creative process of the youth. The exhibition included Inside Out Project photography walls, an empowerment art mural featuring their hopes and dreams and their original paintings for textile design. All of the youth’s artwork was then transported to the US and will be featured in fashion design collaborations, group exhibits with professional artists and a photo book which will be additional fundraisers produced by Beauty for Freedom for Challenging Heights’ programming.
“Deploying arts and art therapy is a big part of our work at Challenging Heights. Remember there is an issue of self-esteem with survivors, so this work with Beauty for Freedom helps these children to have improved self-esteem…to hope and to dream that anything is possible and that they can do it! Challenging Heights is an organization that I created to solve the issues I faced in my childhood. A childhood where I was sold into slavery at the age of 6 years old and finally escaping at the age of 13 working up to 17 hours per day facing unspeakable abuses and hard labor. I wish that I had someone to care for me, to rescue me to save me. I found the opportunity to do so with these survivors with Challenging Heights and partnerships with organizations like Beauty for Freedom can help us reach the goals of eradicating child slavery in Ghana.”
– James Kofi Annan | President of Challenging Heights and Survivor of Child Slavery
Soundtrack by Ahmed Alabaca