Anno's Africa is a UK based children's arts charity running educational arts projects for children living in slum conditions in Kenya and in cities and towns in Northern Malawi.
The charity was set up in memory of Anno Birkin, a young and gifted writer and musician who died in a car crash in 2001, just one month short of his 21st birthday.
Anno's Africa has been operating in Kenya since 2006 and there are currently over 2,000 children participating in our workshops in Nairobi and Nakuru and in the weekly clubs run by our sister organization One Fine Day in the Nairobi slums. We are now also working in Northern Malawi with 700 children in Mzuzu and Nkhata Bay.
Anno’s Africa's remit is to bring to underprivileged children in Sub Saharan Africa opportunities that are normally beyond the hopes and dreams of most children growing up in some of the most overpopulated and poorest slums in the world. The programme currently offers an alternative arts education to over 2,000 children across Africa, with classes in 6 major disciplines; Art, Creative Writing, Dance (including ballet) Drama, Music and Circus skills.
Each year the charity holds two monthly intensive workshops and teacher training programmes, headed by volunteer professional artists and performers from Europe who work alongside and offer advice and support to the 17 local trainers, many of whom have been with us since the charity's inception. These Kenyan teachers then continue to run the year round weekly Arts clubs which are overseen and funded by our German sister organization, One Fine Day. This combination of workshops and clubs guarantees the sustainability and growth of the arts programmes on many levels and gives the children and their young Kenyan trainers the vital continuity and encouragement that they need – and deserve.
The excitement and confidence that the workshops and follow on classes bring to the children as they discover their talents, not only give them huge pleasure but also promote a new found self esteem that will help them on their path to adult hood. And, given the lack of further education available to most of them, the courses provide these naturally gifted kids with an opportunity for future careers in the arts and a means to escape from the poverty trap in to which they have been born.
All of our projects are run in collaboration with existing African charities, shelters, orphanages or non-formal schools who receive little or no Government support so that we can maximize our access to the kids who need us most. And throughout the year Anno's Africa continues to recruit local talent as trainee teachers, classroom assistants and peer educators so that the projects can grow and expand to include an even greater number of needy children, not only in Nairobi and the other cities in Kenya where we work, but also other countries on the African Continent.