Ugandan children’s paintings on display at Colours of Africa fundraising exhibition

Ugandan children’s dreams and ambitions were told through visual stories at the Colours of Africa exhibition in Notting Hill.

Charity Redearth Education hosted the annual event from 13-17 December at the Tabernacle, Portobello Road, to raise funds for improving education in rural Uganda.

Most of the  children had never painted before, but were invited to meet a local artist and shown how to use a paint brush, and told to express themselves.

Lynne Pritchard, co-founder of Redearth Education, said: “Kids don’t ever get the opportunity in Uganda to paint because the materials are not there in the schools.

“So we told them to use the paint and we say ‘paint anything you like from your life’ – and they do amazing stuff.”

Some Ugandan children are forced to drop out of education as early as primary school, leaving them unable to escape the cycle of poverty when they grow up.

Schools adopt a ‘chalk and talk’ approach, whereby teachers lack the level of engagement needed to motivate children to learn.

Redearth Education strives to empower teachers to make a difference by introducing innovative teaching methodologies.

“Teaching is a two-way process, you get from the children that inspiration to motivate yourself to do something better,” said Ms Pritchard.

The charity was founded in 2006 after Ms Pritchard, Ronnie Katzler, and Di Cosgrove travelled to Masindi, western Uganda, as global teachers.

They stayed in the villages and supported local schools, but decided they could offer something more.

They have since introduced an early reading project, and have set up a model nursery on which other local nurseries can be based.

There has been a 31% decrease in dropout rates for boys and 26% for girls over the last two years in Redearth-trained schools, and the average basic numeracy and literacy scores have improved by 33%.

All profits from the sale of artwork are used to train and support teachers, who can then unlock children’s potential and help them achieve their dreams.

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