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Fabien Akimana, the Founder of Abien arts centre helping children discover their artistic talents.
Fabien attended the first ever Children Summit in 2004 where the President of the Republic of Rwanda HE. Paul Kagame addressed the gathering, he left the place as a changed man. He suddenly had a new resolve; to positively impact children in whatever capacity that would be within my means. The President impressed upon that children are the leaders of today and tomorrow and as adults, we have an obligation to impact their lives positively.
Abien art centre is a social enterprise at heart whose focus is children.
“From the time I conceived the idea of establishing Abien Arts Centre, children in my community were a part of that vision. I strongly believe that every entrepreneur should have the mind of giving back to the community in his or her own capacity and style. For me, it’s handing down my art skills to children to help them express themselves.”
Fabien studied arts in High School and at University I pursued Psychology and Sociology. During the University studies, he was impacted by the fact that children discover their talents at a very young age of between 6 and 7 years. In many developed parts of the world, this has been understood and opportunities have been created for children to discover their talents at a young age. This helps them to pursue careers in areas where they are passionate about and can, therefore, excel almost effortlessly because they have followed a consistent path that has continuously developed their talents.
However, in Rwanda and many other African states, there is not much focus on identifying and developing children’s talent. This fact led Fabien to open up the centre to children in the community so that they can come and try to discover their artistic talents.
“The children we support currently come from low-income families who have the least chances of being exposed to opportunities that would help them discover their artistic talents”.
At the centre, there is a team of 7 artists and we also have a professional traditional Rwandan dance trainer. The children come to the centre every week on Sundays and have a great time teaching them how to paint and dance according to what they prefer.
“It is interesting that the children have been a real inspiration to me. I am amazed by the unique ideas that children can come up with. Working with the children is possibly the best part of my business”
Today the centre has come to be viewed as a cultural exchange centre of sorts. Regularly the foreigners who come to view and buy Rwandan inspired art pieces. The professional traditional dance trainer also teaches them a few memorable traditional Rwandan dance moves.
“In future, as the business expands, I hope to open an arts academy that would be open to all children – Rwandan nationals and foreigners living in Rwanda. I want to help as many children as possible discover their artistic talents.”
More at the official website.