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Inspirational arts, cookery, and storytelling with our young people

Khansa is currently pursuing a degree in Applied Child Psychology at Keele University – take a look below to see how she got on during her final placement with us.


I recently had my last experience with Afrocats on their Youth of the World Creative Expression Saturday sessions with support from Children in Need, where I had the opportunity to work under the guidance of project producer Edel - who of course was dedicated and enthusiastic as always.


Our session involved children aged six to 17 who were put into two groups: one for art and crafts, the other for cooking, and I began with taking part in the arts and crafts session.


Getting crafty


The arts and crafts activity engaged the children's senses of touch, sight, and sound, helping them develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.


They explored their creativity and imagination, as well as self-expression, which boosts confidence and emotional well-being through the creative process - see below!



As the young people began to develop a stronger understanding of artistic concepts like colours, shapes, and patterns, they became more independent with the task at hand, coming up with unique ways to use more complex tools and art materials.


While guidance and supervision were still necessary, allowing them free time to play and create encouraged them to experiment and be resourceful; this provided them with opportunities to learn how to confidently use new tools, and harness their problem-solving skills to complete more complicated tasks.


A session of stories


The art of storytelling helps young people develop language skills, enhance their listening abilities, and stimulates their imagination.


It also allows them to explore different emotions and scenarios in a safe and controlled environment, contributing to their emotional and psychological development.


And so the next activity was storytelling, with which I had no previous experience, but the Afrocats team helped me get started!





All the young people participated and enjoyed this part of the day, and I even received an encouraging compliment from the team who told me I did a great job - this was significant personal reassurance for me, and will give me confidence with similar activities in the future.


Let’s get cooking


The cooking session served as a creative and practical outlet for the participants as they seized the opportunity to develop confidence, mindfulness, and mastery of the food they make and eat with professional guidance, as you can see below.






Cooking boosts self-esteem, encourages shared experiences with others, and can act as a catalyst for adopting healthy eating habits.


Plus focusing on a task and completing it gives everyone a sense of power and control, while the repetition of actions during the process of making a recipe allows the chance to develop a tangible sense of achievement, even with something as simple as scrambled eggs, or avocado toast.


Reflections


This was my last placement session, but I wish to continue working with this incredible organisation which really makes a difference in the lives of isolated and vulnerable people across Manchester.


Throughout my time with Afrocats, I have learned so much from the young people, the facilitators, and project leaders, and I saw for myself how every child and young person thoroughly enjoyed the enriching activities we laid out for them, participating with bags of enthusiasm and joy.


I would like to express my thanks to the team for offering me the placement opportunity, and I hope to continue as a volunteer someday soon so I can contribute further to society and to the Afrocats cause.


Thank you Afrocats, for an experience I’ll never forget.


Read about Khansa’s previous session on our news post here.


And to find out more about working with us on a placement helping young people and sanctuary seekers in Manchester, simply send us an email at admin[at]afrocats.org.uk - we can’t wait to hear from you!

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