Yolé is a cry used by cattle keepers in Central Africa to keep their herds together. Yolé!Africa is a centre for art and cultural exchange in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. Y!A is a project for and by young Ugandans and others who have been forced to flee. These young urban refugees' needs are often overlooked by UNHCR and humanitarian agencies. Adrift in Kampala, they face a harsh daily struggle for survival. Y!A offers them a place where they are welcome and can share experiences.
Artistic expression has great value for young people who have experienced traumatising events, helping them to boost their self-esteem and giving them a sense of belonging. Y!A activities include weekly discussions, evening classes in contemporary African dance and theatre, painting workshops, English language classes, space for musicians to practice and www.baobabconnections.org, a discussion forum for youth. Y!A performed at the National Theatre in Kampala in December 2000 to celebrate UNHCR's 50th anniversary. Performances and exhibitions continue to raise awareness of the needs, potential and talents of refugee and street children in Africa.
Yole!Africa needs donations. Bank account details are: Stichting Ijayo, ASN Bank, Ijayo, PO Box 30502, 2500 GM, The Hague, The Netherlands. Account no. 18.104.22.1680. SWIFT code: SNS B NL2A. Attn. 'Yole!Africa'.