Projects

SMILES FOR CHANGE

Smiles for Change formerly known as Sarakasi Trust Hospital Project was initiated in 2006 as a special project under Sarakasi’s wings. A tailor made edutainment program, bringing art and laughter to vulnerable children living in difficult circumstances.

Our team comprising of 1 administrative staff member and 4artists visit various locations within Nairobi, and the Rift Valley. We reach out to children and youths who are hospitalized or undergoing rehabilitation as well as children with special needs.

We love what we do, bring laughter to children who are admitted in hospital for a Long period of time and are far away from their parents, relatives and friends. These results can be achieved by simply blowing a bubble for a child that is crying, creating awareness on hygiene through puppetry, sitting at the bedside and reading a story to a very sick child, dancing with the mums of hospitalized children at ward or letting a doctor play guitar.

Current locations we visit are: Kenyatta National Hospital, Comprehensive Care Clinic, a day care center for special needs children and community awareness.

See our Hospital project gallery

For more information: ferny@sarakasi.co.ke; kevin@sarakasi.co.ke

Visit the Sarakasi Smiles For Change Facebook page



AMANI LAZIMA

The objective of Amani Lazima (Peace is a must) which is CSUDP funded, is to act as a grass root intervention mechanism for disenfranchised youth who are and continue to be susceptible to negative influences in their communities creating opportunity which not only rob them of their lives but also pull them towards livelihoods that are influenced by crime and drugs.

The project seeks to address the following issues that continue to plague the young people in the informal settlements who are marginalized and poor.

  • Urban Safety and Security. Violence in the poor urban areas is on the increase. This is not only gang related crime and violence but also recruitment of the youth in extremist groups. Furthermore and leading up to the 2017 general elections, some youth are also being used for some individuals political gain. In all of these places violence and gang related violence (robbery, murder, rape) is prevalent while services (water, healthcare, sanitation, streetlights, schools, garbage collection and other infrastructures) have not been or hardly been put in place. I addition the landlords operate in cartels which means that as a tenant one has very few rights and can be kicked out very easily. These (slum) estates are very congested, noisy, they have open sewage (which flood during rainy seasons) and an almost 100% unemployment rate. Initiatives like the proposed activity are very welcome and needed not only because of its main aim; it also keeps the youth off the streets. In regards to Urban Safety and Security, through the proposed activity Sarakasi shall conduct workshops where issues of peace and security will be addressed by relevant facilitators.  In addition, by seeking to empower the youth from these communities and keeping them engaged in the Sarakasi performing arts training satellite centers, we shall succeed in removing them from the life of crime and drugs.

  • Poverty alleviation. With the increased rate of unemployment, henceforward many youth in these areas live of less than a dollar a day. Youth is constantly looking for opportunities that give them monetary gain. Our aim is to develop and enhance the talents of the young people to a point where they can earn a living through paid performances.

  • Employment creation through performing arts. Because of the high school dropout rate amongst the youth from the poor urban areas and /or their inability to join secondary school because of lack of school fees, most of the youth have not been able to school themselves in skills that would either allow them to pursue white or blue collar jobs. This includes training in the performing arts for those who have that talent. Therefore training of the performing arts and art management will fill this gap.

The proposed activity will target talented youth between the ages of 15 to 30 years in six informal settlements of Nairobi and Kisumu. In Nairobi we shall target Dandora, Kibera, Kawangware, and Korogocho, while in Kisumu we shall target Nyalenda and Obunga catchment areas.

Sarakasi has defined these 6 areas based on previous experience and also because a very clear need has been expressed by the youth at grassroots level (*find relevant communication with youth groups in and around Kisumu attached). In addition, these areas have been chosen because of the volatile environment (mostly due to an increase of crime rates) and the idleness of the youth in these communities. This way and as per Sarakasi’s model of intervention the proposed activity works ‘bottom up’ by responding to the demand and it also offers an alternative way of job creation.

From each area 20 youth will be identified to be enrolled in Sarakasi performing art training satellite centers; the number of 20 has been chosen because this is a manageable group, which is neither to big nor to small and still big enough to have an impact on the wider community. The experienced Sarakasi dancers and Choreographers will conduct the training at the satellite centers.

Together with on the ground stakeholders and youth organizations the aim is to approach the youth of the informal settlements and involve them in activities each month in a different slum that are designed to reach out to interest the youth, create a positive attitude, generate self-esteem, a feeling of ownership and to empower the youth.

Visit Amani Lazima on Facebook

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The organization not only stands for training and capacity building (and related programs and activities) in the performing arts. It also has become a social entrepreneur by creating marketable products and programs that, through income, better the lives of its participants and the trust (revenues flow back into activities). Furthermore the Trusts activities have an impact on the society at large: directly through certain activities that target the society and also indirectly by empowering and educating its participants and other affiliates to becomeindependent and responsible citizens. Lastly, the organization operates in a transparent manner with solid structures and policies and as such sets an example (and has been an incubator) to like minded activities and organizations.

This way, te organization facilitates performance opportunities for hundreds of performers in its Performance contracts program which provides vital income for the artists as well as exposure to a broader world view.

Sarakasi has a pool of more than 100 professional artists-dancers and acrobats managed by the trust, they have travelled across the world to places like China, USA, Norway, Netherlands ,Italy, UK among others and are well known nationally and regionally. You can book them through the office. Through Sarakasi’s artist managing agency, a group of roughly 75 young artists is covered.

 Our social entrepreneurship activities include:

  • dancers and acrobats
  • choreographies as per client’s creative brief;
  • personal training in dance and acrobatics either at the Dome or elsewhere;
  • hires out spaces (i.e. rooftop cocktail venue, foyer café venue, the hall for concerts, workshops and other events);
  • Sarakasi negotiates international gigs for dancers, acrobats and even musicians;
  • assists performing artists with their legal paperwork;
  • partners and incubates new and related activities;
  • partners with third parties for events



AMANI LAZIMA

The objective of Amani Lazima (Peace is a must) which is CSUDP funded, is to act as a grass root intervention mechanism for disenfranchised youth who are and continue to be susceptible to negative influences in their communities creating opportunity which not only rob them of their lives but also pull them towards livelihoods that are influenced by crime and drugs.

The project seeks to address the following issues that continue to plague the young people in the informal settlements who are marginalized and poor.

  • Urban Safety and Security. Violence in the poor urban areas is on the increase. This is not only gang related crime and violence but also recruitment of the youth in extremist groups. Furthermore and leading up to the 2017 general elections, some youth are also being used for some individuals political gain. In all of these places violence and gang related violence (robbery, murder, rape) is prevalent while services (water, healthcare, sanitation, streetlights, schools, garbage collection and other infrastructures) have not been or hardly been put in place. I addition the landlords operate in cartels which means that as a tenant one has very few rights and can be kicked out very easily. These (slum) estates are very congested, noisy, they have open sewage (which flood during rainy seasons) and an almost 100% unemployment rate. Initiatives like the proposed activity are very welcome and needed not only because of its main aim; it also keeps the youth off the streets. In regards to Urban Safety and Security, through the proposed activity Sarakasi shall conduct workshops where issues of peace and security will be addressed by relevant facilitators.  In addition, by seeking to empower the youth from these communities and keeping them engaged in the Sarakasi performing arts training satellite centers, we shall succeed in removing them from the life of crime and drugs.

  • Poverty alleviation. With the increased rate of unemployment, henceforward many youth in these areas live of less than a dollar a day. Youth is constantly looking for opportunities that give them monetary gain. Our aim is to develop and enhance the talents of the young people to a point where they can earn a living through paid performances.

  • Employment creation through performing arts. Because of the high school dropout rate amongst the youth from the poor urban areas and /or their inability to join secondary school because of lack of school fees, most of the youth have not been able to school themselves in skills that would either allow them to pursue white or blue collar jobs. This includes training in the performing arts for those who have that talent. Therefore training of the performing arts and art management will fill this gap.

The proposed activity will target talented youth between the ages of 15 to 30 years in six informal settlements of Nairobi and Kisumu. In Nairobi we shall target Dandora, Kibera, Kawangware, and Korogocho, while in Kisumu we shall target Nyalenda and Obunga catchment areas.

Sarakasi has defined these 6 areas based on previous experience and also because a very clear need has been expressed by the youth at grassroots level (*find relevant communication with youth groups in and around Kisumu attached). In addition, these areas have been chosen because of the volatile environment (mostly due to an increase of crime rates) and the idleness of the youth in these communities. This way and as per Sarakasi’s model of intervention the proposed activity works ‘bottom up’ by responding to the demand and it also offers an alternative way of job creation.

From each area 20 youth will be identified to be enrolled in Sarakasi performing art training satellite centers; the number of 20 has been chosen because this is a manageable group, which is neither to big nor to small and still big enough to have an impact on the wider community. The experienced Sarakasi dancers and Choreographers will conduct the training at the satellite centers.

Together with on the ground stakeholders and youth organizations the aim is to approach the youth of the informal settlements and involve them in activities each month in a different slum that are designed to reach out to interest the youth, create a positive attitude, generate self-esteem, a feeling of ownership and to empower the youth.

Visit Amani Lazima on Facebook

TRAINING & CAPACITY BUILDING

Over the past 16yrs, Sarakasi has built a solid platform for developing East Africa’s natural performing talents into a world-class school for the performing arts. From its base at Sarakasi Dome in Nairobi, the Trust runs daily training programs for over 60 dancers and 30 acrobats. The dancers cover a range of disciplines that include traditional dance, African contemporary, salsa, hip hop, street dance, jazz, and other modern contemporary dance, modern traditional dances, bollywood , among  others.. Our acrobats are specialized in human pyramids, somersaults, balancing acts, hoops, limbo, fire acts, tight rope, pole/ pagan, clowning, aerial hoops, aerial silks, short trapeze and much more.

For more information on training, exchanges and performances, please contact the Sarakasi Trust or pass by at the Sarakasi Dome and ask for creative office department.

Our choreographers can customize shows for your events and functions.