Youth-Led: Youth identify issues affecting their mental health and decide which one to address

​Arts based: Youth choose an art medium through which to express their views and take action

Civic Action: Youth share their story of change and their artwork to directly address the issue

eduSOIL is an award-winning, international, arts, wellbeing and education social enterprise addressing the global mental health crisis through trauma-informed, intercultural community arts, youth leadership, yoga and mindfulness programmes and products. Since 2011, we have nurtured the innate creativity, compassion and resilience of 16,000 primarily black, asian ​and underserved people in 11 countries.

Together with our funders and partners, eduSOIL is delivering Art For Change, our arts-based, youth wellbeing and social action programme that is part of the globally acclaimed Design For Change (DFC) movement.

Our funders are Arts Council Northern Ireland and Queen's University Belfast (QUB) who is also our key delivery partner with significant in-kind support (venue, equipment etc) through the School of Arts, English and Languages as well as continuous mentorship and support through the Performance without Barriers Research Group where Juanita Rea (eduSOIL Founder/Design For Change NI Director) is based as a Visiting Scholar. Our programme is also funded by Queen's Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility Directorate who support initiatives that benefit asylum seekers and refugees across the University.


DATES: July 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th, August 3rd

TIME: Saturdays, 12:00 - 17:00

VENUE: Brian Friel Theatre, Queen's Film Theatre Building, Queen's University Belfast


DATE: August 10th

TIME: 12:00 - 14:00 (Rehearsal), 15:00 - 17:00 (Concert)

VENUE: Brian Friel Theatre, Queen's Film Theatre Building, Queen's University Belfast

Art for Change will empower young people (12 - 18 years) in/from Northern Ireland to:

FEEL: express their views about issues affecting their mental health and the consequent mental health challenges they face; learn self-reflection, mindfulness and positive affirmation strategies for self-care that help them nurture their mental health; identify an issue that bothers them that they want to take action on as a group

IMAGINE: brainstorm a way to make it better; choose an artform through which they address the issue as a group

DO: learn Design Thinking strategies to take action on an issue affecting their mental health through an art medium of their choice; develop skills in chosen art media; work as a team to complete their project; prepare a presentation and display for the showcase event

SHARE: publicly share their artwork to lead social action by encouraging audience response, action and involvement to further address the issue; inspire others to say, 'I CAN'!



Thanks to generous funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and with the support of the School of Arts, English and Languages at Queen’s University Belfast, we have spaces for 5 funded groups of youth and supporting adults.

Each group will consist of:

  • 5 youth (12 - 18 years) from a Community Organisation

  • 1 Youth Worker from the Community Organisation

The group will also be supported by an artist who is skilled and experienced in the artform they choose to express themselves through. ie music, visual art, drama, poetry/spoken word, multidisciplinary performance.


Our programme is for youth from immigrant, asylum seeking, refugee and vulnerable backgrounds. Art For Change exists to help any young person who is experiencing any mental health / learning / social / behavioural / family / economic etc difficulty to use arts-based strategies to improve their coping and leadership skills using the FIDS framework.

We have 36 youth signed up from the following parter organisations:

  • Diverse Youth NI

  • Northern Ireland Gujarati Community

  • ACSONI (African and Caribbean Society NI)

  • ANAKA Collective

We are recruiting 4 artists as follows:

  • musician

  • visual artist

  • actor, poet/spoken word artist

  • multidisciplinary performer

Artists will need to submit their:

  • artist CV's

  • an example of their socially engaged artwork

  • experience of working with youth

  • DBS check

  • a motivation statement.


Over the 6 week programme, we will have a team of talented, socially-engaged artists helping youth to work in groups to address issues affecting their mental health, through a chosen art medium. Youth will share their art and present their projects at our showcase event (open to the public) to raise awareness and drive social change.

Our award winning artist activists are:

  • Nandi Jola Creative Writing, Poetry, Visual Art, Theatre Performance

  • Rwanda Shaw Singing, Acting, Dance, Choreography

  • Mayte Segura Dance, Choreography, Intercultural Group Performance

  • Pradnya Joshi Creative Writing, Visual Art, Intercultural Group Performance

  • Takura Donald Makoni Poetry, World Music Performance and Recording, Photography

  • Juanita Rea Visual Art, Poetry / Spoken Word, Songwriting, Photography + Yoga / Mindfulness - Programme Creator and Coordinator, Visiting Scholar, School of Arts, English and Languages, QUB


Corporates, businesses, and individuals can invest in the well-being, artistic development and civic leadership skills of our youth by:

  • Sponsor participants packs that include avatar-personalised superhero t-shirts, journals, mugs, tote bags and learning materials. Preview here!

  • Sponsor a group to attend the Be The Change Celebration in Dubai this December.

Email to know more about how to to invest in arts-based mental health support for underserved youth.