Fundación Artistica y Social La Familia Ayara
Across Colombia, poverty, displacement, armed conflict, urban violence, unemployment, and lack of access to quality health services and educational opportunities conspire to keep adolescents from making a healthy transition to adulthood, despite their aspirations to get ahead. Founded in 1996 by a group of Colombian youth, La Familia Ayara draws on hip hop culture’s potential to promote positive youth development by engaging young people in a language that is relevant to their daily lives, as well as provide a social support network, a means of self-expression, a sense of global belonging, a heightened social consciousness, and an opportunity to be surrounded by positive role models. La Familia Ayara’s workshops and public programs use hip hop as a tool for personal development, goal setting, income generation, and community education, directly engaging young people in efforts to build a culture of non-violence and solidarity while breaking down discriminatory attitudes and practices in Colombian society.
EMpower’s third grant to La Familia Ayara supports deeper engagement with young women and increases its commitment to gender equity by specifically training a cadre of promising young women leaders who have already been trained on social issues, gender, health and financial education, to multiply and replicate Ayara’s methodology and impart their knowledge on a wider subset of young women participants at Ayara’s cultural center, at partner institutions, and in their own neighborhoods.