this boy is swallowing tens of millions of infant stars/
while the rest of us,
unable or too afraid to hold him,
trip and stumble through the elements with our notebooks/
When young poets reach out to share their creativity, intelligence & compassion, they remind us of who we are and who we would like to be...
Courage is contagious...
The Swagga Poets are inviting their peers, and adults, both near and far, from across disciplines and professions, to share their sense of fair play, empirical knowledge and their remarkable ingenuity, so together we can visualize and bring about, a swift end to the profound trauma being experienced by sexually abused and sexually exploited young males in Kenya.
When a boy awakes each morning, opens his eyes, thinks about what he will do that day, and then, wham, remembers that for him it will be yet another day of having to submit his spirit and body, yet another day in which all his physical and psychological strength will be employed to better cope with being sexually violated and the physical and psychological and social consequences of what will be done to him and what he will have to do to survive... THIS reality is an utter waste of a young person's remarkable creativity, imagination and intelligence.
Our cultural histories have taught us that when courageous young males harness their imaginations and employ their creativity, they are capable of creating a legacy that profoundly benefits the community surrounding them, and for generations to come.
The Arts - visual storytelling - have been used by cultures and across generations throughout our collective histories, as a means for people to introduce themselves to each other. The medium makes it easier for human beings to communicate; to hear, to remember and to explore complex information and new ideas that permit them to raise the quality of their lives and to extend their life expectancy.
The health and well-being of every individual is directly related to the health and well-being of the communities surrounding his or her life. Today, our sense of community has greatly expanded through trade, travel, tourism and technologies: we can reach out and touch each others' lives further and faster than at any other time.
Young people embedded in distinct localities are quick to eagerly reach out to access and share knowledge and ideas, which they believe will permit them to live away from violence (including the significant violence surrounding the transmission and treatment of infections and diseases they witness scourging through their communities, leaving a wake of grief and hopelessness).
The world is changed by individuals. You are one of them.
Boys who are sexually abused and sexually exploited in Kenya have few places that are, in truth, safe for them to grow up in and from which they can access meaningful medical knowledge or care, and trauma alleviating programs that permit them to visualize and reach for an adulthood that is healthier and happier adulthood than the one they are being gifted by adults, who perceive the kids as expendable, disposable, unworthy of kindness or fighting to protect.
The Swagga Poets have chosen to harness their intelligence, creativity and passion, and explore through the arts, the devastating physical and psychological consequences of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation for boys who happen to find themselves living in Kenya.
What is done to boys (exposing them to infections and diseases, damaging their internal organs, breaking and dislocating their bones, tearing and perforating their tissues and skin, humiliating them, beating them, imprisoning them, corrupting them, subjugating them, lying to them, denying them access to safe places to grow up in, smashing their dreams).
What boys have to do to survive (exchanging sex for food, shelter, medicine, money and gifts).
By sharing their empirical knowledge through the medium of visual storytelling, The Swagga Poets are creating a body of work that will serve as a catalyst to prevent their peers, and all the boys being sexually violated and sexually exploited today and being groomed to endure such horror tomorrow, from being placed at significant risk for dying a slow, painful and premature death in the heart of our communities.
The Swagga Poets initiative is a mark that says: "We exist and our lives are valuable." With the support of their international and local friends across generations and disciplines and professions, the young poets are creating a bridge woven of imagery and ideas, so together we can say "let's end the abuse endured by the boys" and believe with the passion of young males who wish to live healthy and happy lives that it is possible.
We urge every adult to BELIEVE it is possible for you to raise the quality of life for boys subjugated by sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.
We urge every adult to BELIEVE every boy hurts hard when he is sexually abused and sexually exploited, and hurts harder when the communities around him abandon him, avoid him, remain silent.
We urge every adult to BELIEVE that you possess the strength to turn to one person and share the stories and ideas and conversations being made visible by The Swagga Poets.
In 2013, there are only two United Nations Member States that have still NOT ratified the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD (1989). Those are the USA and Somalia.
Kenya stepped up in 1990, to ratify the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD. Kenya has also ratified the Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the SALE OF CHILDREN, CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND CHILD PROSTITUTION.
What adults say and what adults do, profoundly affects the quality of life for boys who (if they are able to survive), grow up to become THE NEXT GENERATION OF MEN.
Is "The Life" experienced by sexually abused and sexually exploited boys, who happen to find themselves surviving and reaching for their adulthood in either the USA or in Kenya, so very different. Or, in truth, profoundly similar.
SHOW ME YOUR LIFE, KENYA
Rachel Chapple, PhD at email@example.com
Founder, Real Stories Gallery Foundation (a registered 501c3 non-profit in the USA)
Director, Show Me Your Life (international online art & storytelling program for boys at risk for dying prematurely in the heart of our distinct localities around the world)
Content copyright . SMASH-STREET-BOYS.ORG. All rights reserved.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). Article 27. (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
Confidentiality. Forms of online surveillance often take place for “political, rather than security reasons in an arbitrary and covert manner," UN Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue argues, calling on governments to decriminalize defamation, do away with real-name registration systems -- including the parameters in Facebook's terms and conditions that allows governments to collect users' names and passwords -- and restrict rights only in the face of an imminent threat. Broad surveillance powers or the erosion of privacy online endanger anonymity's ability to protect dissenters and journalists and those using pseudonyms when they speak out (UN 2011 report).
Real Stories Gallery Foundation is a registered 501c3 charity in the USA. We facilitate for chronically at risk kids to share their stories. Through harnessing today's technologies, their creativity and compassion, the kids explore how to advocate for themselves and their peers. Together they raise the quality of their lives.