Defining and Cultivating Creativity in Kibera, Kenya

By: Gabrielle Arenge '14

Advising Faculty: Audrey Zakriski

This honors thesis examined creativity as a tool for youth empowerment and community development in East Africa’s largest slum, Kibera. Arenge designed and implemented a seven-week creative curriculum in Amani Art, an after-school arts program, in order to stimulate creative thinking and problem solving skills among 15 of the Kibera slums’ most at-risk youth. The participating youth's creative thinking skills, intrinsic academic motivation, and self-esteem were measured before and after the pilot program through questionnaires, observations and individual interviews. Additionally, she explored the concept of “creativity” when conducting over 240 interviews with Kibera residents. The final analyses integrate the community’s perceptions of creativity, classroom observations, student questionnaires and interviews, and program evaluations in order to paint a portrait of creativity as it currently is understood in Kibera, evaluate the effectiveness of the creative curriculum, and suggest ways in which a community can uniquely utilize creativity to address social problems.

This honors thesis may be viewed in its entirety at Digital Commons @ Connecticut College.

Related Fields: Holleran Center, Psychology