Providing Safe Spaces: MindLeaps and UNFCU Foundation Provide Youth with a Brighter Future Through Dance

Meet François. Once homeless and traumatized by the loss of this family, he is now on a path towards a brighter future.

François fled the Democratic Republic of Congo after his parents and twin brother were killed. He slept on the streets of Kampala, Uganda battling past traumas and facing overwhelming challenges to survive. He remembers those painful times: “I just felt like killing myself.”

MindLeaps assists vulnerable youth like François in Uganda. Using dance as a tool for engagement, this innovative nonprofit encourages youth to pursue educational opportunities and develop lifelong skills. Attracted to ‘fun’ classes, young people become immersed in a curriculum designed to develop their cognitive and social-emotional skills. The program enables youth to translate these critical learnings into successes at school and at work.

François thinks back to the day he joined MindLeaps: “I couldn't believe how wonderful and good they were to me.” MindLeaps helped him break free from negative thoughts and gain a sense of hope.

François returned to school. He was diligently completing his last year of high school when COVID-19 forced a lock-down in Uganda. The stabilizing structure of school was broken, leaving many like François at risk of setbacks.

MindLeaps pivoted its curriculum to a ‘virtual academy’ model, providing vital educational support during quarantine. “I'm feeling so special because many people do not have all that I have,” said Francois. “The virtual academy has kept me positive and focused on my dreams. It has taught me that in very difficult moments, you can always find a solution.”

The UNFCU Foundation is a proud supporter of MindLeaps and other programs that provide youth with access to education. With your support, we can help more young individuals like François discover the path toward a brighter future.