Devio Arts Centre

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Devio Arts Centre: Constructive Learning through Play.

Accra-Teshie, GhanaAccra-Teshie, Ghana
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Devio Arts Centre is a non-profit children’s art centre based in Ghana. The Centre uses an afterschool Arts and learning through play experience for children to practice skills, develop their minds and critical talents crucial for Child development.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if engaging Children in creative arts could derive the most educational and developmental benefits in Children.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Various researches proves that there is lack of understanding and appreciation of the value of creative arts among parents and decision makers who are busily trying to reform educational systems at odds with the requirements of the knowledge economy by eliminating the very quality that prepares children for skills directed learning: Arts. This poses danger on the future of young people especially in the developing countries.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The solution is Devio Arts Centre. We are alerting the world on the how best to nurture the skills and abilities in young people of all ages that the knowledge economy requires in the 21st Century, by using an integrative approach in providing art focused afterschool programs for kids and young people which is fun but at the same time enriching, so children grow and learn every day to achieve their full potential. We believe that teaching children the mechanics of a broad range of art skills is an interest in encouraging them to use those skills to enhance learning in their everyday life, and to become change agents through play.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We got very excited when two kids in our program who also happen to be in the same class, said: "Madam,we scored the highest in class today, and we told our teacher it is because we come to the centre to learn art skills, Our Teacher then told all our classmates to come and register to also come here''. We also share Daniel Oblitey's example. Daniel had never had any art experience until he joined the Devio Arts Centre. After two months in the program, he had an idea to provide a community art club where he and other young people can practice art skills and have fun with computer games. This example highlights the ripple effect the Devio Arts Centre has on children. Daniel was inspired, which fostered the empowerment of his peers.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Devio Arts Centre began formal operations in January 2014, even though our community workshops began in 2013.Within our first and second quarter, we have engaged an average of 3,625 children in our various fun and arts programs.We have established flourishing partnerships to enhance our approaches, scaled up to two additional communities in the Region,and Trained two public school Teachers from some partner Schools. We have collaborated with Yvette Dickson, a Standford University Graduate in some film-making and documentary workshop(Make another Look Project) to encourage free play among the kids. We organized the annual Children's art festival in August, engaging over 3000 children from around the country in arts and crafts, free style fun activities,digital illustrations and games from the Google Team, which uniquely inspired their Imaginations and enriched their Skills.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our aim is to establish a Children's Museum and develop our Children's Art Festival. However, we recognize the great need for larger systemic change in the Ghanaian curriculum, whereby arts education is appreciated and fostered. We are actively lobbying the Government for the necessary educational reform,so we can even train more teachers to implement our approach.Outside of our borders, we aim to spread our impact to five African countries (we have already established contact in Uganda). Finally,with the development of digital games and collaborations, our impact will reach the global scale.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

To ensure financial sustainability,Devio Arts Centre seeks various grants,and donations. We have an Art Gallery where we sell arts and crafts to the general public at our Centre. In addition, we organize private weekend activities to fee paying Children from rich homes ranging from $50-$100. We also make and sell recycled beads and accessories through various platforms like Afrochic

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Play grounds for children do exist in Ghana, but they are limited in scope. These profit based facilities offer a space only to make money without programming and social mission. Devio Arts Centre is a non-profit initiative which takes this concept a step further. We have recognized a significant gap in the educational curriculum, which drives all of our activities. As such, we use customized and integrative play mechanisms as a tool to help foster children's mind and brain development, whilst in an enjoyable setting. Promoting a life-long experience for children while exploring Arts and play.

Founding Story

After reading an article in the China Africa Report, a quote stood out to Lily “The clash between modernization and traditions has affected the creative thinking of African children.” She with a personal passion for arts, recognized the sincere gap in the educational structures of Ghana for young children to explore and realize their artistic potential. Lily also recognized that there were no learning focused play centres for children in Ghana, to revive their creativity so that they could move along with this fast growing world.Considering the advancements in technology,She decided to found Devio Arts Centre. Lily said "I am a voice for development and advocate who creates awareness about the importance of arts education in Children.


Alison Roadburg - MA Participation, Power and Social Change, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Development practitioner with 5 years experience in program design, implementation, management and evaluation. Kobby Adams-Winner - Millicommander for Team Sales: A maths graduate and MBA in Strategy & General Management (London Business School).
About You
Devio Arts Centre
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name

Devio Arts Centre

How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

, GA, Accra-Teshie

Country where this project is creating social impact

, GA, Accra-Teshie

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

NGOs, Businesses, Other.


-Tigo Reach for Change Leaders Award 2013.
The founder Lily Kudzro was given an award of $25,000 in 2013 as salary funding to help her work full time on Devio Arts Centre.
-Google for Entrepreneur's 2013.

Primary Target Age Group

6 - 12, 13 - 17.

Your role in Education

After-School Provider, Coach, Social Worker.

Please specify which of the following best applies:

I am applying on behalf of a particular program or initiative.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with (if applicable)

Public (tuition-free).

Intervention Focus

Extracurricular, Community.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Putting Children in Charge: Giving children a voice and cultivating agency via experiential learning, project-based learning, and civic engagement.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Trapped Between Competing Pressures: Educators face a lack of capacity to re-imagine and restructure educational settings.


Devio Arts Centre needs people who can help us increase our communication, to share our work and story to the world.


I would like to share my experience with other entrepreneurs.

What key learning outcomes does your work seek to improve?

Our key learning outcomes are:
1. For children to develop their creativity and artistic abilities.
2. For Children to utilize the potential of arts for the enhancement of their communities.
3. For Children to increase their performance in School.
4. For Children to become empowered and show commitment to their own development and become outspoken with issues that affect them.
5. For Children to develop Problem Solving Skills, Analytical Thinking and Imaginative Skills.

Secondary Form
PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details

The Devio Arts Centre's model is basically an after school program that aligns to the day school, providing time for students to practice arts, frequently using technology and play. Our centre offers a 15 hours weekly program, a 6hours monthly program in the local communities and a 8hours weekend program at the premises of some partner companies. In addition, we host a two days annual art festival aimed at inspiring creativity among children and encouraging parents to appreciate art education in Ghana.We actively engage all our Staff,Volunteers and Team members in delivering these services.

INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.

Last year on November 18 and 19th, the Partnership for 21st century skills organized a summit on 21st century learning bringing together experts in the field of 21st century learning to explore and celebrate exemplars of 21st Learning practices. The Partnership (P21), a national coalition made up of 28 member organizations and 19 state partners again released a Framework for State Action on Global Education in Washington Dc this year on September10.This evidence is an indication that the world is harnessing education reform to connect re-imagine learning strategies to all its efforts.

LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?

To me, learning through play means uses arts and objects in playful mechanisms to discover and foster abilities of children to drive long-term changes critical to personal development and connectivity between societies. I believe Play is a must have and crucial because it constitutes an essential part of the world's educational reform and also helps to stimulate learning and creativity in in both Children and Adults to be active and passionate about their personal growth and fulfillment.

SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.

Thus far and until 2016, we receive $25,000 annual Salary=25%
Other Grants=40%
We earn an annual income of $6000 minimum from our fee paying weekend classes=6%
We make an annual income of $5,000 from our Crafts gallery=5%.
$12,000 from our annual art festival=12%.
Crowd Funding =12%.

MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?

Our mission in providing fun after school program is substantive to our business model.We therefore acknowledge the importance of earned income to support our social mission's sustainability, in which all of our business model ventures are inter-dependent on our social mission's focus. Provision is made to ensure that every income earned is re-invested into our programs and does not go directly to any individual(s).

FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?

We would use 60k to acquire technologically based play tools and products to expand our services for children to explore objects and develop physical skills.
2.Invest 20% of the fund in our Children’s Art Festival and 20% to enhance our structure to engage more children and teachers at a time.

PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.

We are currently in Partnership with Reach for Change and Tigo Ghana Limited, who supports us with a $25,000 annual salary. This enables our founder to commit full time to this initiative, continually streamlining and developing our programs reach.Also, we have a flourishing partnership with Alliance Francaise of Accra, Melcom Group of companies,and Schools.This allow us to host weekend creative arts&fun activities for children at their premises.

COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.

Our founder has initiated partnership with Jim Salmons of Fact Miners on the DIY Planet walk project.
We are ready to collaborate with Socialization through Play, Maria Sibireva and Lily are even now friends on Facebook. We are also fostering collaborating with Makeosity because their STEM program.

VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?

15 years from now; 1.Devio Arts Centre would have established a Children's Museum in Ghana, that can accommodate 500 children at a time. 2.We would have scaled our project and festival reach to other countries in Africa.
3.Increased our local and worldwide partnerships, to include the Lego Foundation, the Children’s Museum of Houston and KaBOOM, and engaged
I million Children. 4.Increased our Team to over 50 members, with various skill sets.

IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time

Last year our community program reached 300 children and 1,001 in our Children's art festival.This year we have reached 340 children in our community programs,240 at our centre, engaged 3,045 Children in our Children's Art Festival, trained 2 public school teachers, and Partnered with 4 organizations. We hope to increase the number of children we engage at our centre, and offer more training workshops for Public school Teachers over time.

IMPACT - REPORTING SAMPLE: Please attach any examples of your impact reporting. [optional]:
RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE: Please link or attach any research or evidence resource you are open to sharing more widely [optional]. Building research and evidence is a key aim of this initiative, and the resources you share may be chosen for listing in the Center for Education Innovations library:
SOURCE: If applicable - who created the research or evidence you are choosing to share? :
IMPACT - REACH: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

500 to 1,000

STUDY: Has an external evaluation or study been conducted of your organization?


Other (please specify)
Number of Employees:

Fewer than 10

Number of Volunteers:


APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.

Physical Play, Play with Objects, Symbolic Play, Pretence/ Socio-Dramatic Play, Games with Rules, Creating a Supportive Socio-Emotional Environment, Providing a Range of Opportunities (providing the equipment and materials needed for various types of play), Educational Structuring (developing playful projects within educational contexts), Adults Participating (Ensuring adults are able to play alongside children), Challenging Play (play that disrupts - where rules are disregarded and levels of imagination are high).

Other (please specify)
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.

Not Yet.