Our Impact

75% of those who participate in the Faces Up program state in their written stories of impact that they‘re more confident about facing the future than they were before joining. 85% demonstrate a significant increase in their creativity, according to our Child Development Assessment Tool (CDAT).

Words to Deeds

Faces Up has helped over 7000 young people – 62% girls and 38% boys – change their life prospects through arts and crafts education.

In addition, we’ve:

  • Established a local community art center that serves 340 young people a year,
  • Covered the school fees of 128 children from the sale of their artworks and merchandise,
  • Reached out to 65 of the country’s most challenged schools,
  • Worked with displaced young people in Rhino, Imvepi, Bidi Bidi and Nakivaale refugee settlements,
  • Held 6 art exhibitions,
  • Empowered 215 children with disabilities (deaf, blind and physically handicapped).

Faces Up has been recognized many times for its pioneering community work, including:

  • 2017 – Young Achievers Awards (nomination)
  • 2018 – Africa Youth Leader of the Year (nomination)
  • 2018 – Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)
  • 2019 – ChangemakerXchange
  • 2020 – Top 40 Under 40 (shortlisted)
  • 2023 – HundrED Global collection 2024 (Top 100 innovations worldwide)  

Impact On Individual Lives

17-year-old Mayambala aspires to be a world-famous comic artist. We first met him in 2020 and quickly connected him to an established comic artist in Uganda. Under his mentorship, Mayamala thrived. He’s published two comic books – ‘Sebuma’ and ‘Grio’ – and established ‘The Comic Hub’, a school club at Makerere High School, Migadde, where he inspires over 40 peers with his passion for graphic art.

In 2022, Ashim was on his way to school when he was involved in a hit and run accident that left him with serious head inquiries requiring emergency neurosurgery. Understandably, his family was unable to cover all the costs of their son’s medical treatment and support, so we stepped in to help.

Earlier in the Faces Up program, Ashim had created a painting called “Tinga Tinga”, which we managed to sell online for 600 USD. We then added 1,400 USD raised from a medical appeal that our online community generously donated to. Combined, the 2,000 USD was enough to cover the costs of Ashim’s life-saving surgery. Today, he’s back at school, pursuing his passion for art.

In 2020, we noticed that one of the children in the Faces Up program habitually drew images of guns, fighting, and accidents. Sadly, this reflected his experiences of witnessing civil war in South Sudan, and it was clear to us that he had unresolved psychosocial issues arising from what he’d observed.

Our free art empowerment program provided a platform for this child to express himself, working through his trauma and slowly coming to terms with what he’d been through. After just two months on the program, he was drawing flowers not guns, playgrounds instead of battlefields, and birds in flight rather than victims or war.

And it wasn’t only on the page that we witnessed a remarkable transformation; a smile had replaced the look of fear, and this once unhappy and withdrawn youngster was interacting more readily, socializing with his peers, and making new friends.

In 2020, we encountered Namakula Judith, a 10-year-old who had yet to discover her artistic talents. Just like any other child attending our free art workshops at the Faces Up community center, Namakula received support to uncover her true potential.

Fast forward to August 2023, and she has blossomed into a celebrated young artist, winning the Reminac Kid’s Award for Best Painter. She now serves as a role model for her peers.

In 2021, we discovered Makano Bwato during our Positive Memories art contest. His intense passion for art and remarkable painting skills prompted us to provide full support for his development.

We relocated Makano from Nakivaale refugee settlement in Isingiro district to Kampala, Uganda’s capital, connecting him with valuable art development opportunities and a network of mentors.

Since then, he has transitioned from being a part-time artist on the verge of quitting to a full-time studio artist. Today, Makano is celebrated as an international artist, with his artworks collected worldwide and exhibited in local and international galleries. The prices of his artwork now range from $1,500 to $3,500 USD.

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Invest in the education of children from financially challenged backgrounds by purchasing their artworks or merchandise featuring their artistic designs. Visit www.store.facesup.org and help enable children at the margins to access life-changing education.

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