‘Explore your talent with us’
By Florine Deneubourg
Created for the promotion of Ugandan culture, UPACT (Uganda Pioneer’s Association Cultural Troupe) is a voluntary, nonprofit organisation, which aims at empowering disadvantaged youths. With fifty-nine different tribes, each with their own languages, music and ways of living, Uganda has long been known as a cultural melting pot in the heart of Africa. Since 1994, UPACT’s mission has been to keep the diverse range of Ugandan cultures alive by providing exciting and engaging dance and music performances.
UPACT is open to the youth of the community, with ages ranging from fifteen to twenty years old. Disadvantaged youth receive the opportunity to discover their talents through training in Music, Dance and Drama (MDD). The project meets to practice every weekday from 4pm to 7pm, giving the participants the opportunity to develop and hone their skills.
UPACT mobilizes motivated and committed youth who are engaged with the project and aims to pass cultural skills and understanding to the next generation. The teachers at UPACT have come from the same socio-economic background as the participants, having also been empowered through dance and cultural learning and are therefore perfectly suited to share their skills and experiences.
Because practice is on a daily basis, UPACT is also a place to socialize. The participants come to meet their friends and to dance, creating unity among the youth, which is not limited to – or defined by – any particular tribal heritage. UPACT enables the youth to acquire skills, knowledge and understanding from members of the community with a diverse range of cultural backgrounds.
Alongside developing and nurturing talent within the group, UPACT provides a channel for motivation in life. UPACT facilitates the importance of solidarity, respect and friendship through the teaching of the youth to dance and play musical instruments. Members can find communal support from one another and receive pastoral guidance and counseling from UPACT’s senior members. UPACT is able to foster an environment of understanding, acceptance and compassion through work with other community-based services.
Talented individuals and groups for all types of special events experience UPACT in providing professional performances. These can include weddings, theatre productions, birthdays, graduations and recreational parties to name but a few. These performances enable UPACT to promote the positive work that has been achieved in communities and demonstrate skills and talents in preserving revered Ugandan cultural history.
As you are organizing your event or if you simply wish to experience more Ugandan dance, music and culture, contact UPACT to add a cultural aspect to any occasion.
|UPACT also offers the opportunity for international volunteers to take part in work camps with the troupe. UPACT has been successfully organizing work camps with volunteers since 1995. For three weeks, you are invited to learn a range of dances and to create new craft instruments and costumes for the benefit of the troupe. This opportunity provides for a brilliant cultural exchange medium, between locals and people from all over the world. The next work camps will take place in June and December of 2016.|