Living in a big Family: Sosolya Undugu Dance Academy
The Sosolya Undugu Dance Academy is placed in the slum of Kabalagala, the entertainment- and red-light-district in Uganda’s capital Kampala. Many children there do not get enough food and do not go to school. Some are alone and live on the streets. Since 1993 those left-alone children have a safe place to go: The Centre of the Sosolya Undugu Dance Academy. Around 80 children between 5 and 18 years live there constantly. Other children visit boarding schools and stay at the Centre only during weekend and holidays. All in all the Academy supports around 200 children and youths with food, shelter and education.
Sosolya provides their fosterlings not only food, shelter and everything else they need on a daily basis. Furthermore Sosolya offers love, safety, dignity and hope for a good future. These values are the key to understand the importance of Sosolya. Boys and girls from different backgrounds, tribes and religions live peaceful together as brothers and sisters. In many parts of Africa these differences are the cause of war and terror. But not at the Sosolyas: Boys and girls live in a very small space but respect and help each other. The children and youths come from precarious family backgrounds. At the Centre most of them have, for the first time, the feeling of living in a family.
Sosolya is also known abroad. They showed thousands of people all over the world the east African art’s variety and liveliness.
Sosolya shows that education and sensitivity helps young people to learn how to organize their lives by themselves. While in Uganda every fifth woman gets pregnant before being 18, at Sosolya there are no teenage pregnancies.
Sosolya Undugu Family Academy
Since 2017 the project Sosolya Undugu Dance Academy is part of the officially registered NGO Sosolya Undugu Family Academy.
Its goals are:
- Built trust between all African people in educating them to consider each other as brothers and sisters and respect each other dignities.
- Encourage respect and understanding by learning each other’s dances and music
- Conservation development of traditional art and at the same time abandon damaging cultural rituals such as female genital mutilation
Together in the Undugu Family
The Undugu Family affiliated the Sosolya in 2009. Undugu Family was founded by the Jesuit priest Steven Amani Msele. Found in Tanzania Undugu spread to Uganda and Kenya so far. The Swahili word Undugu means brother- and sisterhood. Its goal is to educate people to live together in peace and prosperity, independent from which tribe they come from or which religion they belong to.