Ugandan center brings healing through dance
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I n front of a black curtain draped over a clothesline, several children dance in a dirt clearing that constitutes their front yard.
The Bitone Center for Disadvantaged Children , located in Kampala, Uganda, is home to two dozen children ages 8-18. Many are orphans; others have lost their homes or been estranged from their families by disease, war, or economic hardship. The Rotary clubs of Kampala-East and Traverse Bay Sunrise, Michigan, USA, are providing support to the facility with help from a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant.
Bitone means "talents" in Luganda. The center was founded in 2004 by Lawrence "Branco" Sekalegga, who serves as its executive director and teaches the children traditional Ugandan dance, music, and theater. By connecting the children with their heritage and providing basic food, shelter, and education, the center strives to give them new hope and build their self-esteem.
On a visit to Bitone, Rotary International Senior Photographer Alyce Henson shot individual students using a technique known as time sequencing with continual shutter bursts with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II camera, at an aperture of f/5.0 and a shutter speed of 1/125. Using Henson's work, Photography Coordinator Miriam Doan created this essay, which showcases the children's skills, personalities, and exuberance -- all expressed through the healing power of art.
Watch for a photo essay in an upcoming issue of The Rotarian .