Rwandan visual artist Olivier Hodari Ganza is leveraging his artistic expertise to improve the lives of underprivileged street children in Musanze. Through his charity organisation, Art for Street Children, the artist aims to establish a secure and supportive environment where the young individuals can unleash their creative potential, enhance their confidence, and acquire essential life skills. “I hope to make a lasting impact by helping them discover their talents, express themselves, and envision a brighter future through the colourful world of art,” explained Ganza. The 28-year-old artist said he got involved in the initiative after realising how art can empower individuals and provide a positive outlet for self-expression. He decided to use his passion to change lives, breaking the boundaries of age limits in art. Ganza noted that teaching street children had been his dream since the day he joined Ecole d’Art de Nyundo in 2013. He had recognised how different children had lost hope for the future due to conflicts in their families, which made them victims of their circumstances no matter how talented they were. He said that since the inception of the programme at Inshuti Art Gallery, where he operates, he has witnessed significant transformations in the lives of street children. “When they first joined the programme, many of them were withdrawn, lacking self-confidence, and struggling with their emotions. But as they started engaging in art activities, something magical happened. I saw their eyes light up with excitement, their smiles grow wider, and their creativity soar. Art became their way to express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a safe and non-judgmental environment,” he said. Ganza added that the children acquired new skills and improved their self-esteem, emphasing that the creative journey provided them with a sense of identity and hope for the future. Asked why he chose to pursue a career in visual arts, Ganza highlighted his deep passion for self-expression and creativity as the cause. He graduated from Ecole d'Art de Nyundo in 2015, with a focus on painting and sculpture before he dedicated himself fully to the practice of art. He shared that he often creates what he feels, thinks and sees in the world around him, which provokes “extraordinary” reactions from his admirers. “I challenge myself and push myself without ever falling back on what I have done in the past. In my magnificent collection of paintings and abstract works, I master today what will be history tomorrow,” he said. To draw attention to the visual differences, Ganza paints on canvas. He loves experimenting with different techniques and mediums to bring his artworks to life. “Texture is something I'm particularly drawn to, as it adds depth and tactile interest to my pieces,” he said. “I use vibrant colours and intricate details to add a sense of depth and richness to my artworks making it truly eye-catchy. Most of the time my themes revolve around the power of a woman and the voice of the colours.” Due to his unique approach to art, in August 2018, he was selected as the Best Rwandan Youth Artist by the Mastercard Foundation under Hope, Energy and Ingenuity: Voices of the African Youth programme. His works have been exhibited throughout Rwanda and in several exhibitions in East Africa, the USA, Japan, Vienna and Austria. Ganza aims to convey a wide range of emotions such as love, joy, sadness, anger, and hope through his art. Additionally, he strives to communicate meaningful messages that address social issues, tell stories, and provoke thought and reflection. His upcoming exhibitions will take place in Switzerland in December 2023 and in the USA in 2024. He is also planning a collaboration with one of the great art galleries in Australia named Cheetah Craft Art Gallery. He can be found on Instagram as Ganza _ odart or Twitter as: Art _ for _ change _street_children.