“The person with creative literacy — a basic understanding of the mental, emotional, and sociological tools used for creative thought and communication — is able to find purpose and apply meaning to her world rather than having meaning handed down and purpose assigned to her.” Dustin Timebrook

My Start is a Creative Arts project in partnership with Gua Africa.

“It is important to tell our stories as refugees, to express ourselves, to be heard.”
David Thok Koang, 16 years old, South Sudanese refugee

Play Video

My Story

The workshops enable young refugees to express themselves in a fun and dynamic way, as well as reflect upon their experiences and challenging circumstances. The exhibitions allow these stories to be shared and acts as a powerful, visual resource in the camp and UK schools.

My Art

We strongly believe Creative learning is integral to all young people forging their place in the world and learning to express themselves. Art celebrates and values the individual and this is particularly important for displaced people trying to reclaim their sense of identity and purpose eroded through the refugee experience and obliterated in the abyss of war and suffering. 

Gua Africa

Gua Africa, founded by South Sudanese former child soldier, refugee, activist and performer Emmanuel Jal, promotes education through academic sponsorships, vocational training and leadership courses for refugees. With projects in both Kenya and South Sudan, their recent focus has been on supporting youth displaced in Kakuma Refugee Camp. My Start, also operating in Kakuma under Gua, is mobilising one of Emmanuel’s core principles; that creativity is an invaluable tool for utilising young people’s social, emotional development. It is also realising the potential for Art to present individual perspectives that challenge existing views, stigmas and dismantle the boundaries dividing us..
Emmanuel Jal