The Kyangwali Refugee Settlement Singing Tree Project for Healing the Trauma of War

The Kyangwali Singing Tree of Healing the Trauma of War


Our project in Uganda has taken on new meaning as we witness 2 million people becoming refugees in 12 days. The question of whether our species can handle mass migration with compassion, grace and focused resources is a challenge of the 21st century. Climate chaos has been estimated to dislodge 120 million people in the next decades. This number doesn't include migration caused by people fleeing violence and poverty.

The Kyangwali Refugee camp is all too familiar with leaving one's homeland because of war. 95% of the refugees who live in the UN's settlement in northern Uganda have come from the Congo. The trauma of war has stayed with them for decades and the need for healing is intense. The Singing Tree process is a collective way for feelings to be expressed and stories to be shared - a necessary step in healing.

Kanizius Nsabimana, the Lead Organizer, came up with the theme for the Singing Tree of Healing the Trauma of War. He fled the Congo to the refugee camp when he was seven in 1996. As a visionary educator, he founded Youth Challenge 4 Change which supports entrepreneurial projects by high school students and teaches Peace Building Through Sport.


World-renown Lead Artist, Emma Kavuma, lives in Kampala, 6 hours away from the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement. He follows in his artist father's footsteps, even though he lost him and his mother as a young child. His father used charcoal as his main medium. 4 year-old Emma picked up charcoal from the fireplace when his parents died and started drawing. He hasn't stopped. Sharing the principle that creativity is a birthright, Emma brought art-making to Syrian refugees in the Netherlands. We are thrilled to have both Emma and Kanizius join our team of Singing Tree Facilitators.



The Kyangwali Singing Tree is the 2nd 5 x5 Project. The $20,000 project still has $10,500 to go before we can launch. We're going to be embarking on a creative fundraising campaign soon. Please stay tuned!

Support The Kyangwali Singing Tree here.