Addis Ababa, January 25, 2024 — An exhibition of children’s art, created during an art therapy program in three conflict-affected regions, was inaugurated by U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Gwendolyn Green, H.E. Ayelech Eshete, State Minister for Education, and H.E. Alemitu Umud, State Minister for Women and Social Affairs. The “Brighter Futures” exhibition at the Hilton Hotel showcased the impact of art therapy in the aftermath of conflict.
The art therapy program began in early 2022 to address the impact of armed conflict in parts of Amhara, Afar, and Tigray, targeting children in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, host communities, and affected schools.
The initiative improved the wellbeing of students and teachers by providing psychological first aid and mitigating the risk of gender-based violence. As part of the broader READ II program for education recovery, psychosocial support, and social emotional learning, the activity also organized art competitions in three regions. Running from October 2022 to July 2023, the program reached nearly 11,000 fourth and fifth graders from 156 primary schools.
Collaborating with instructors from the Regional Colleges of Teacher Education, the art lessons gave students an opportunity to reflect on their experiences during the conflict, build self-esteem, and express their hopes for the future. One of the lasting benefits was the reintroduction of art into the curriculum of participating schools. The children’s art exhibition highlights the outcomes of USAID’s education-focused interventions to address the consequences of conflict in affected communities. The exhibition is open to the public from January 23 – 29, 2024.
For 120 years, the United States and Ethiopia have partnered in health and education, agriculture and food security, science and the environment, and many other areas to improve the lives of all Ethiopians. Rooted in an enduring spirit of friendship, respect, and collaboration, the United States government and the American people will continue to work with the government and people of Ethiopia for the well-being of the Ethiopian people.