The Big Idea

The big idea driving the kARTwe Project is to mitigate the physical, mental, and emotional issues prevalent in Katwe through the ubiquitous use of street art. This is run in tandem with a clean-up program of the slum.

About the kARTwe Project

The kARTwe Project is a community-centric art initiative driven by Feed a Million Mouths International (FAMMI). We use art to transform the lives of vulnerable people, in the informal settlement of Katwe.  The kARTwe Project:
  • Creates a more colourful and cleaner environment, at least, in some parts of Katwe.
  • Leverages the industry and talent of the Katwe residents.
The expected results of this project are:
  • A more pleasant and cleaner living environment, at least, in targeted areas of the community
  • Identification of creative talent in the community
  • Some alleviation of “filth diseases”
  • Opportunity for FAMMI to provide some poverty and hunger relief
  • More visibility of FAMMI and its objectives
  • Community Participation. In Phase 2 of the project, the general community will be invited to contribute street art in their environment.
The project has two interdependent components – Street Art and Art Training.

Art Training

Every Saturday, we offer workshops on painting and on drawing. There is a class specifically dedicated to younger children. This class is attended by many pupils from the Katwe Central Primary School. It also accommodates slum children and street children from the area.

The second art class is for adults. We draw attendees from the Katwe community. This is deliberate. We want to focus our efforts and impact in this community. We want to produce results in a clearly defined area.

Our third class focuses on creating art and beauty from recycling waste in the community. The imperative is to educate the community in the benefits of building and maintaining a clean environment. Maintaining a clean environment is vital to the crusade against poverty, because of the physical, mental and health effects of living in squalor. These classes are taught by dedicated professional artists.

About Katwe

Katwe is a sprawling slum area and informal settlement, on the fringe of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. When Uganda won independence from Britain, in 1962, Katwe was a centre of African ingenuity and entrepreneurship. 

Craftsmen, artisans, and technicians repaired imported electronics, cars, televisions, refrigerators, and a host of other appliances. In 2007, it was estimated that Katwe employed over 3,000 artisans and metal workers in over 800 individual small enterprises.  

Since its heyday, Katwe has become an incubation chamber for crime, disease, and poverty. It is also home to an untold number of street children. The environment is a symphony of filth. 

It is a cauldron of stagnant water and the randomly discarded detritus of every day human existence, and the absence of running water or a sewerage system. Katwe has also attracted young men and women, with little education or practical skills.

These low or no skilled arrivals have resorted to all manner of crime. Consequently, Katwe remains one of the highest crime-ridden areas in Kampala.

Street Art

Street art is another form of art that is expressed on walls and on buildings, outdoors, in urban areas and in informal settlements.  It has different rules and uses different materials.  Street Art is a legal form of artistic expression. 

The street artists are asked to use their talent to create a mural or painted effect on a wall outside.Many cities and towns have encouraged street art. They are creating new outdoor galleries for all to enjoy.  

An industrial building can become uplifted by street art designs and colourful murals.  Street artists paint in broad daylight and sign their work acknowledging their artistic creations.  Street art is also called Urban Art or Public Art to try and distinguish it from graffiti.