SPEAKING THROUGH ART-PARENTS LESS INVOLVED IN HELPING THEIR CHILDREN
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Child rights Activists have observed that parents are not doing enough to keep their children positive during this COVID crisis. This was manifested in the art works submitted by children under the contest dubbed ‘Being Positive in Times of Difficulties” organized by Faces Up Uganda, a youth-led Non-Governmental Organization that mentors young people through creative arts. In a contest that attracted 119 submissions from children across three countries, judges noted that there was less representation of parents. “Less representation of parents in the artworks that the children came up with painted a picture that somehow parents are missing in action in the process of keeping their children positive during the time of adversity” Read some of the observations made by the judges. They also noted that many children who participated lacked art materials and concluded that there is need to fundraise for art supplies and donate them to these children to encourage them engage in art related activities during the COVID crisis. The chief executive Officer of Faces Up Uganda, Mr. Emmanuel Kalule Ssekitto noted that some of the major messages that dominated in the art pieces submitted included “Hope in despair”, “Safe Haven, “Happy Children”, “Be smart be safe, wash your hands”, “ We shall overcome”, “Stay home, wash hands stay safe”, “Wear masks” and Thank you for observing the measures” “All these raised awareness about COVID-19 and our hope is that agencies such as UNICEF, Save the Children, Plan International and Ministry of Health, could give some of these children a chance to use their artworks to join other avenues to raise awareness about this deadly pandemic since these artworks will communicate direct to their fellow peers”. Mr. SSekitto noted. The art contest attracted more girls with 46 submissions against 36 from boys while the percentage of participants from primary level stood at 65% compared to 32% at secondary level. Children from 17 districts participated in the contest with ages 11, 13 and 14 dominating. Dorcus Ariango emerged winner of the contest walking away with 150,000 Uganda Shillings.