Exploring Empathy Through Gender Role Reversal, Walking in the Shoes of Others, and the Arts!

Exploring Empathy Through Gender Role Reversal, Walking in the Shoes of Others, and the Arts!

Kampala, UgandaKampala, Uganda
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

In Movement brings about positive social change in disadvantaged Ugandan young people through the transformative power of the arts and imaginative education.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The Ugandan educational system is based on an outdated British colonial model that focuses largely on rote memorization of facts. This model does little to develop more well-rounded individuals who have advanced emotional intelligence, utilize critical thinking skills to interpret the world and make wise decisions, and explore creativity to solve problems. As a result, Ugandan young people are inadequately prepared to be social change-makers in their society, which is faced with enormous challenges that require innovative and collaborative solutions based on empathy for others, cooperation and unity, and shared sacrifice.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

In Movement’s arts education program harnesses the transformative power of creativity and the expressive arts to bring about social change in disadvantaged young people in Uganda. The program is a supplement to the regular academic education our students receive, and is offered after school, on Saturdays, and during school holidays. The 3-year program which enrolls 270 students in primary school ranging in age from 9 to 18, develops emotional intelligence, critical and divergent thinking, and creativity and imagination. Teaching empathy, positive virtues, and a culture of character is woven throughout the entire program, using the artistic mediums of drama, music, dance, visual arts, creative writing, circus arts and photography as platforms to reinforce these important ideas that are critical to child development.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

In Movement holds four residential art camps a year, based on the Creative Community Model developed by Ashoka Fellow Charlie Murphy. These 5-day camps bring together 45 students and 20 adults, and are designed to promote intensive, lasting learning. When the students arrive at the camp to a creative and enthusiastic greeting, an atmosphere of joy is created, which sets the stage for open interaction between all camp participants. The camp begins with the creation of community agreements in which all camp participants give input. Learning activities at the camp include interactive art workshops, group discussions about topics such as empathy and relationship-building, small group sharing and counseling sessions known as “family group meetings” and evening activities such as theatre improvisation and a camp fire. The culminating event is an open microphone night which allows the students to perform and exhibit what has been learned during the course of the camp. Our camps, as well as all of the activities at our facility and in the community, are designed to strengthen bonds between people, promote diversity, build positive communication skills, encourage gratitude, support the idea of purpose-driven living, and celebrate life - all of which are essential elements of empathy.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In Movement does not see other arts or youth-serving organizations in Uganda as competitors, but as potential partners. In Movement provides training intensives in creative facilitation to members of other organizations, as well as providing trainings for teachers and workers at our partner schools and orphanages from which we draw our students. In fact, we see these trainings as an emerging source of sustainable revenue for In Movement in the future, and so it is advantageous for us to promote our arts-based approach in working with young people in the larger community.
About You
In Movement: Art for Social Change
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

In Movement: Art for Social Change

Organization Country

, Kampala

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Kampala

Your role in Education


The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with


How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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How long has your solution been in operation?

Operating for more than 5 years

Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

In Movement brings about positive social change in disadvantaged Ugandan young people through the transformative power of the arts.

Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

In Movement uses the expressive arts to develop emotional intelligence, teamwork and cooperation, critical thinking, and creativity.

Social Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

In Movement has held over 5,000 hours of classes and activities over 75 months, and has directly served over 1,500 students in our core program, and hundreds more in our outreach program. A testimonial given by our Form Six student Habiba Namusoke, says that because of In Movement’s program, she has overcome shyness and has improved self-confidence and public speaking/performance skills, she has discovered talents she never would have imagined she possessed, her English skills have improved, and she has taken on a leadership role as the Head Girl at Banunule Primary School. In addition, by challenging our students to think critically, and through the promotion of empathy, understanding and positive communication, In Movement is helping to shape future change-makers in Uganda like Habiba.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

In Movement plans to continue working with approximately 270 young people per year in our program, as well as partner with organizations from different areas of Uganda to spread our approach through trainings and collaborative events. We also plan to share our approach with 500 local primary school teachers, providing them with new methods for transferring knowledge using creative and imaginative techniques, new behavior modification strategies, and by sharing best practices. We will also be improving upon a new monitoring and evaluation system implemented in 2012 so that we can better assess the impact of our program on our students.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

The primary barrier to In Movement’s success will be failure to sufficiently diversify our funding sources. Up until 2011, the majority of our funding came from a private donor in Spain, as well as the Spanish government. Due to the current economic crisis in Spain, however, In Movement is currently pursuing other sources of funding, including corporate social responsibility contributions, grants, and small donor campaigns.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

An “Empathy Arts Challenge” that will task the students with creating an art piece on a gender role-reversal scenario

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Conduct group discussions around issues of gender in Uganda

Task 2

Conduct arts activities and role play involving gender role reversal

Task 3

Hold the "Empathy Arts Challenge", and have each group reflect on the process with the larger group to deepen understanding

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Students will create a "Walk in Someone Else's Shoes" installation and performance

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Discussion on the concept that everything is not always as it appears, and that everyone has a personal story

Task 2

Students interview or research the stories of a person or group from a very different community/background

Task 3

Interactive Installation and Performance - Students tell the stories of "Walking in Someone's Else's Shoes" using the arts

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]

Begoña Caparrós studied the use of the arts in social development and served as a research scholar at Stanford for a project involving human movement. Her experience working with vulnerable groups through her studies and her interest in Africa led her to Uganda to research, along with local artists, the impact of creative exploration on disadvantaged communities. In her 3-month pilot project, there were many transformational moments with the children and artists in which she felt positive impact. There was a particular moment, however, in which a boy, who had been extremely quiet and withdrawn throughout the activities was able to show her a terrible wound on his back, and ask for help. To her, these activities allowed him to find his voice.

Tell us about your partnerships

In Movement has numerous strong partnerships, including the youth-serving organizations Partnership for Youth Empowerment led by Ashoka Fellow Charlie Murphy, Breakdance Project Uganda, and Create Peace Project. We also partner with Alliance Francais Kampala and the Goethe Institute Kampala to promote the arts locally. We have 6 partner schools/orphanages from which we draw our students. We are also exploring strategic partnerships with Ugandan government institutions to investigate possibilities for funding and improved service delivery.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]

In Movement has a talented and committed team of 13 creative facilitators specializing in 6 different artistic disciplines, and with training in the multiple intelligences, including emotional intelligence. We also have an American consultant to help implement and fine tune a new curriculum that has been developed for 2012-2014. Our management team overseeing the project consists of a program manager as well as a country director, both with teaching experience.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

In Movement needs pro bono expertise in carrying out a highly effective online small donor campaign. We could also use pro bono services for development of additional systems in Salesforce, including organizational inventory and staff and volunteer time sheets. We always welcome highly trained artist-educators who can provide professional development.