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Room 13 Art Centre

Room 13 in South Africa piloted with two studios in SA; one in Sapebuso Primary School in Soweto, and one in Mmulakgoro Intermediary School in Botshabelo situated near Bloemfontein in 2004.

Currently there are six Room 13 studios throughout the country. Each studio has an allocated Artist-in-Residence who facilitates the learning and creative development environment for the children. Room 13 creates a safe and secure environment for underprivileged children, free from judgment and outside dangers where they get an opportunity to develop life, creative and business skills. What’s unique about Room 13 is that it’s the children themselves who manage and run the studios as a self-sustained business.

The principals at the initial schools have been thrilled with the positive impact the access to the art room has made to the children. Attendance at school and overall school performance has improved as the children can only use the facilities if their schoolwork is up to date. The children are empowered and confident. The schools have become more sought-after in their areas: enrolment has increased approximately 15% (where possible), and applications to the school have increased all round. Room 13 strives to develop and empower children to become the best that they can be.

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