Dream of Duluth Support

Dream of Duluth: A Global Street Outreach Initiative is campaign run by a small team of artists/activists pooling together their resources to promote volunteer street outreach to orphans living in Uganda. The initiative began officially in March 2017 with ("Steveboyyi") Steven Boyyi's return to Uganda after spending a few months in Duluth, Minnesota, living his dreams as a visual artist.  We've received an overwhelming response on social media with several of our stories and images going viral; as a result, many have asked how they might be able to support our outreach goals.

43237906_1573154831480924_r.jpeg

Steveboyyi has been doing what he can with his own personal resources to address the needs of street orphans in Uganda. Our current strategy involves building a plan and capacity to expand (team members in the United States) while or Kampala-based team performs specific, short-term outreach projects on the front lines.  Steveboyyi's dream is to bring opportunities to children growing up in the same lifestyle that he was born into - as such, he's made the connection with a youth center in Kampala that has generously donated their basement as a space for us to conduct arts and storytelling activities. 




Of a population of roughly 39 million in Uganda, nearly 50% are children between the ages of 0-14, and 2.5 million are orphans living on the street or in shelters with minimal resources. Currently, many of the staff working at our partner location are volunteers providing youth enrichment opportunities and a place for kids to stay who have nowhere else to go.  








43237906_1573154906718896_r.jpeg


Funds at this time will go to Steven's survival as he donates time doing what he loves. They will also go towards art supplies and items that support the youth activities he facilitates. 


We're grateful for any and all support that you are willing to give! There's a lot of suffering in this world, but it really doesn't take much to change another person's life.  
____________________________________________________________

43237906_157315498769857_r.jpeg
(Photo by Ivy Vainio)

Who is Steveboyyi?

Dream of Duluth begins with Steven Boyyi, a young artist from the streets of Kampala, Uganda who dreamed one day he might come to the United States and share his talents with the world. Towards the end of 2016, through both hardship and miracles, he found his way to the U.S. with the help of a local church and on a foundation of his artistic talent.

43237906_1573155143413589_r.jpeg
Steveboyyi as a youth.

Steveboyyi doesn't know when he was born. Brought to a children's home at the age of around nine months, he grew up without the knowledge of his name, his parents, birthday, or even the presence of a family. When the orphanage closed its doors, Steven was 17 -- he continued his life back on the streets, relying on his creativity and courage to survive daily obstacles. He cites the rain as his enemy and the birds as his friend during this time.

43237906_1573155167633407_r.jpeg
(Photo by Ivy Vainio)

Steveboyyi had been making art since the age of 13, when the orphanage was visited by a local man who taught the children the core techniques of ironing ginger cloth with wax and painting it with watercolors. He paid attention to the man’s work and tried it for himself, developing the style he uses to this day. At the age of 20, just a few years after the orphanage closed, Steveboyyi began gathering bits of trash from the streets and incorporating it as color in his artwork. Having lived on the peripheral edge of society and in spending so much time on his own, his art became a sort living, breathing, meta-cognitive portrait of everyday life in Kampala.

“I base the pictures on my life and the lives of most of the African children who grow up on street and have talents which can be helped to become better people in the world," says Steveboyyi. Little did he know, his artwork would become a catalyst for bringing people together and enabling healing to take place in their lives.

43237906_1573155185722246_r.jpeg
(Photo by Ivy Vainio)

The Dream: Why Duluth?

While in the United States, Steveboyyi quickly made connections in the local arts scene, gaining notoriety for not only his talent, but for his kindness, honesty, charisma, and willingness to teach others. On his first visit to the U.S., he lived in Duluth, Minnesota -- the place where his dreams began to come true.

43237906_1573155220693060_r.jpeg
(Photo by Ivy Vainio)

CPL Imaging, Duluth Bible Church, the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO), and the teachers and students at a variety of schools including Duluth Edison Charter Schools, the College of St. Scholastica, and Cloquet High School all played a role in the realization of Steveboyyi’s dream. He booked his first art show at AICHO Galleries during his last few months in the U.S., bringing in a crowd in the hundreds during his opening exhibit.


43237906_1573155255447796_r.jpeg
Steveboyyi's impromptu mural at the Duluth Edison Charter School.

As his dream takes shape, Steveboyyi decided to open a Facebook page and begin organizing his efforts and resources to give back to his home country. This page is dedicated to transforming the lives of youth on the street who are facing similar struggles to what Steven endured - he will be posting updates (with edits for grammar performed by a friend) on their stories as well as his own. Dream of Duluth is in its early stages but represents the realization of potential and of humanity; the children living on the streets of Uganda (and of all countries, for that matter) are not without value. They have dreams and abilities - they have talents and goals. The only thing they lack is opportunity, and that’s what we hope to provide.


43237906_1573155238534203_r.jpeg
Artwork by Moira Villiard, part of Dream of Duluth's arts outreach.

Thank you so much, again, for reading about our project! Any help is appreciated - in the meantime, we’ll keep doing what we can to help people in all corners of the world.

Donations

No donations yet. Be the first to help.

Organizer

Moira LikeTheory Villiard 
Organizer
Duluth, MN
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more