Slum Ballet Teaches Kids To Pivot Away From Poverty - Shared
Health
Slum Ballet Teaches Kids To Pivot Away From Poverty
By Caitlin

Kibera is the largest slum in East Africa. It is home to an astonishing 1.5 million people living cramped in one square mile of poverty.

Many of the children living in Kibera are either orphans, or struggling to care for family members with HIV/AIDS. This incredible burden would be overwhelming for any adult, but somehow the resilience of hope shines through in the spirit of these children.

Part of that hope comes from classes like the ones being offered by Annos Africa. In partnership with Spurgeons Academy, a U.K.-based chairty, they teach ballet classes and other arts education to more than 800 children in Kenya.

This is Kibera. The largest slum in East Africa.

FREDRIK LERNERYD

Every Wednesday, students take the chairs out of a classroom and sweep the floor.

FREDRIK LERNERYD


They trade their school uniforms for brightly colored leotards,

FREDRIK LERNERYD

And leap for the stars!

FREDRIK LERNERYD


FREDRIK LERNERYD


FREDRIK LERNERYD

The class is taught by Mike Wamaya, an award-winning teacher, who formerly toured in Europe as a dancer.

FREDRIK LERNERYD

Since he began teaching, student drop-out rates and teenage pregnancy has decreased.

FREDRIK LERNERYD

Dance gives these children the inspiration they need to develop their confidence.

Children love ballet so much, they practice whenever they can.

FREDRIK LERNERYD

Ballet shoes are precious, the students carefully maintain and store the shoes.

Fredrik Lerneryd

Fredrik Lerneryd

Older students are given the chance to train one day a week at an upper-class ballet school in Karen.

Fredrik Lerneryd

Good grades and dance are two things that launch these children out of the slums.

Fredrik Lerneryd

With enough hard work, some students move on to dancing with the Nairobi National Theatre.

Fredrik Lerneryd

Ballet can be the key to moving out of the Kibera slum and into better neighborhoods and boarding schools.

Fredrik Lerneryd

Last month, the children performed "The Nutcracker" at Nairobi National Theatre.


Fredrik Lerneryd


With dance, these children are winning scholarships and leaping ahead in life.

To learn more about how you can donate to the charities supporting these children, visit Anno's Africa here and CRED Foundation here. To see more beautiful photos, please visit Fredrik Lerneryd's portfolio here.

Share if dance inspires you!

By Caitlin
Comments ()

Related Articles

SUBSCRIBE TO SHARED NEWSLETTER

Top Stories

More Stories