After COVID-19 crisis, a learning centre is using music therapy to heal at-risk street youths.

Gulu, Uganda Investigative Reporting 02 Dec 2023

When COVID-19 struck Uganda, a social worker a Professional dancer, and an ex-rebel abductee decided to start a social enterprise that uses music therapy, coupled with counseling sessions, to address mental health issues as well as vocational skills to uplift the economic well-being of the at-risk street youths in Gulu City, Northern Uganda.

The learning center provides a friendly environment to enable street youths to learn how to deal with stress, anger, anxiety, fear, seclusion, sadness, decision-making, trauma, and so forth. So far, more than 100 youths have benefited from this therapy and many have started businesses after completing vocational training (tailoring, saloon, entrepreneurship, etc.)

Like elsewhere in the world, COVID-19 disrupted many sources of livelihood in Uganda where 90 percent rely on informal businesses, and also sparked a rise in mental health illness. In Northern Uganda, formerly a war sacred region, 200 cases of mental illness are registered weekly at the regional hospital despite the facility facing drug stockouts and few staff.

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