“Sustina/ honest, kind, peaceful/ I love telling stories, dancing/ I dream of a world free of kidnapping/ I fear death/ I am a big elephant fighting for others”

-Their homes have been taken from them, many of their loved ones have been taken, but not their voices.These young girls living in temporary shelter by Gofe, a rural community outside of Abuja, Nigeria, have been forced from their homes in the north due to terrorists, lost many loved ones to violence, and now have limited access to electricity, food, technology, education, housing and other basic needs. While poetry cannot solve these problems, Child Shield Initiative and Poetry on the Streets hopes to offer these girls an opportunity to express themselves and we intend to share their words widely in hopes of bridging connection, increasing awareness and providing an outlet for self-expression.

My name is Happy/ calm, kind, honest/ I love singing, writing, dancing/ I dream of a world free from rape/ I fear flooding/ I am a peaceful dove”

POTS Nigeria & Child Shield Initiative- “The Power of Young Voices” Despite many of the girls now having to work on the farms for the rainy season, they are still writing poetry! Here are some of the girls’ first poems to introduce themselves. 

“Sometimes I feel brave/ like a tiger trying to catch her prey” Sometimes I feel lonely/ like a person in the forest” “Sometimes I feel scared/ like a person attacked” “Sometimes I feel bright/ like a shining star” “Sometimes I feel happy/ like a bird singing” “Sometimes I feel daring/ like a person ready to explore”

POTS Newest Initiative in Nigeria and Uganda

POTS newest initiative after participating in The Greenhouse Global Cohort through The Pollination Project':  Two collaborative projects in Nigeria and Uganda: "The Power of Young Voices: Poetry Writing to Elevate Young Voices Across the World."

In Nigeria, partnering with Child Shield Initiative, Poetry on the Streets is providing virtual poetry writing for young girls who have been displaced because of terrorist groups and are living in rural communities, unable to attend school, to help the girls express themselves through writing and share their words with others. See video clips on POTS Instagram page.

In Uganda, partnering with Usanii Village Africa, to provide poetry writing workshops for children in line with their mission for using art for social change.

Connecting these children with one another across the world in order to share their words and stories with one another and be heard. 

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