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Breaking Gender Barriers through Art in Rwanda

On September 7th, we begin our 3-week Art for Action, online benefit auction! Bid on stunning artwork from ten of our partner artists, representing 8 countries in Latin America and Africa. In preparation for the opening, we want to introduce you to Jemima, one of the artists from Rwanda participating in Art for Action. Jemima is an artist-facilitator for Creative Action Institute, teaching girls in our Sauti ya Dada program to use art for social change.

Jemima has an impressive resume of gender rights activism and consequently was nominated for Forbes Women Africa Social Impact Awards in 2023. Her passion for advocacy inspires her to use art as a tool to explore taboo social issues with community members of all ages. She explores a variety of topics, such as women’s empowerment, teen pregnancy, gender-based violence, environmental protection, and mental health through art.

Noticing a lack of visibility for women in the arts scene, Jemima and other women artists founded the Rwanda Womxn Artists Collective in 2020. The Collective’s aim is to raise the visibility of women artists and to provide mutual support. Inspired to promote women artists even further, Jemima began curating exhibitions under the auspices of the Impundu Arts Center that she founded in 2022.

Aside from being a champion for women artists, she is passionate about using her art and skills as a facilitator to empower girls. In both 2021 and 2022, Jemima led Creative Advocacy Practicums with teen girls in our Sauti ya Dada clubs. Introducing the girls to mural painting, they designed a mural for their community to call for a global sisterhood of support for teen girls.

At a final presentation, they pushed school officials and community leaders to provide girls with sexual and reproductive health education, protection from sexual harassment, and parental support for their education.

“I was amazed by the work the girls made because they were very creative, enjoyed the process, and we created a sisterhood where we had meaningful conversations… they learned a lot and I also learned from them,” shares Jemima about the experience. Learn more about the project here.

“My experience with Creative Action Institute was amazing! Working on subjects such as teen pregnancy and peer pressure was very meaningful... Learning through art is a real bonus because you are learning at the same time as you are creating and having fun.” - Jemima

View and bid on the incredible artwork of artists like Jemima during Art for Action, Sept. 7th-28th! Your donations and art purchases not only support life-giving programs from Creative Action Institute, but also support grassroots community artists like Jemima.

We hope you’ll join us during this impactful event, and get to know the work of all ten artists, representing over eight different countries!


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