Artombo is a project aimed at providing high quality art classes to learners who would otherwise not have the opportunity. In addition to art skills, they learners are taught various life skills through the process. It is a continuing project which started as a results of an initial combined DAAD sponsored research project between NMMU Computing Sciences and colleagues from German universities.

What skills and resources were you able to draw from the community for this project?

Volunteers collect the children from across the metro and take them home after class. The positive feedback and beautiful work that children do at ARTOMBO makes parents and families very proud. Children also go back with newly acquired skills and have a positive impact in their schools and communities.

The challenges

Many children in the Eastern Cape do not get the opportunity to discover and develop their artistic abilities. Artombo wants to give children from around the metro to get the opportunity to do just that. Classes are presented by a well known artist and children get the opportunity to work with an artist that is gifted in sharing her skill and love for art with children, whilst also helping them to discover their own talent and grow their self esteem.

Addressing the challenges

The project started in 2011 and has been very successful. Recent research shows that learners attending the classes generally also performs better in all academic work. There is a need to have more exhibitions and also to present workshops where children can work with other media such as pottery. We would also love to grow the project to allow more children to get the opportunity to take part.

The achievements

More than 100 children have benefitted from the classes. The wonderful talent of our children in the Eastern Cape has been showcased in Germany and Norway and across South Africa. Children discovered their art talent, grew in confidence and generally performed better in general.