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PYE (Partners for Youth Empowerment)
Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children. --Khalil Gibran
The mission of Partners for Youth Empowerment (PYE) is to “awaken the purpose, power, and possibility of young people around the world.” In order to accomplish this goal on an international level, they partner with existing organizations all over the world, allowing them to tap into local knowledge and gain a better understanding of the difficulties and needs of young people where they are, both physically and socially. To accomplish this goal they use The Creative Community Model. At the heart of this model is the belief that humans are creative and wired for human connection; we are at our best when we are seen and heard and have the safety to fully express ourselves.
The Kelly Ann Brown Foundation was drawn to PYE because they are a hands-on training organization, empowering youth through creative workshops and helping them find their voice—often literally. The PYE website explains that The Creative Community Model “combines the expressive arts, experiential learning, and creative facilitation to promote self-esteem, motivation, social and emotional literacy, a sense of purpose, cross-cultural competence, community involvement, and 21st century leadership skills.” The model is unique because it integrates a range of artistic modalities, ranging from music, rhythm, visual arts, theatre, creative writing, storytelling and movement into the learning process.
Kelly had the gift of making everyone feel safe, seen and heard. Children especially picked up on this, and were quick to go to her and trust her with their secrets. PYE’s community model is designed to be a “two-way street.” It is not just adults helping kids, it allows children to empower and awaken the potential of their adult mentors. Kelly opened herself up to children, to laugh and learn from them as they laughed and learned with her. She would have wanted to spread this philosophy (that came so naturally to her) around the world, helping all to thrive.
In Kelly’s name we gave a grant to PYE to support their East Africa Youth Empowerment Initiative.
As PYE’s managing director Gwyn Wansbrough explains:
"We have been working for several years in Uganda and have built a vibrant community of organizations and practitioners who practice the Creative Community Model and lead arts empowerment camps reaching the lives of thousands of the most vulnerable young people in Uganda such as child soldiers and youth affected by HIV AIDS. There is an opportunity to build on the work in Uganda and expand our efforts into Kenya, and possibly other parts of East Africa."
We look forward to hearing about PYE’S East Africa project!
Click here to learn more about PYE.