Jobs and development by art

In Naatangue art la (“Art is Prosperity”) -project disadvantaged Senegalese youth get an opportunity to become professional artists and use their expertise for the benefit of their communities and society. Youth civic engagement and the use of community art in primary education are supported in cooperation with schools. 

A significant proportion of Senegal’s population, more than 60 % is under 24 years old. Ten times more youth enter the labor market annually than it can absorb. Limited possibilities to have quality education influence in young people’s capacities to find decent work, have work related skills or start their own businesses.

In Senegal, most of the cultural-industry production takes place in the informal sector. Micro-enterpreneurship is more common in this sector than in others. Many creative workers find themselves beyond the reach of official regulation and measurement. The full employment potential of the cultural sector is still untapped.

Evidence shows that the creative economy is an ever stronger driver of development. It is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy, not just in terms of income generation but also for job creation and export earnings. Investing in culture can also lead to results that contribute to the overall well-being of communities, individual self-esteem and quality of life, dialogue and cohesion.

The project is implemented during 2017-2020 in cooperation with five partner organizations. The artist training is offered for four hundred youth who study music, circus, clothes design or visual arts. In addition, the training includes life skills, civic education, entrepreneurship and methods of applied art.

Teachers and students in forty primary schools participate in civic education training, and plan and implement together activities that enhance the well-being of their communities. The teachers are capacitated to use art methods in classrooms, and young artists do internships at schools as part of their training. In this way the project enhances the quality of education in Senegal and advances civic engagement of the students.

Our main partner organization in Senegal is Synapse Center. Art training is offered by Sencirk, Africulturban, La Factory and HandiEco.

Cirque du Monde and Humak support the development of the training curriculum and ensuring the quality of training. Unesco supports the formalization of the curriculum in Senegal.