"Being able to see my friend be heard was beautiful," says Caputo. "It inspires me to want to be a better human being and do things because I love it versus because I want to be the best at it."
Keeping in touch with refugees
Since leaving Africa, the UC group has stayed in contact with the refugees through, of all things, Facebook. Despite their circumstances, most of them still have Internet-enabled cell phones, which are far cheaper there and their only way of connecting to the outside world. Wireless Internet is made available in the camps by a charity organization.
Sadly, soon after the project, conditions at Dadaab grew grimmer as famine struck and violence intensified. Yet, the refugees continue to meet and even train others in theater. Ojullu, who started writing poetry for the first time last year, is now teaching others in the camp to express themselves through words.
As for the UC contingent's response since the trip, they started an arts outreach group at CCM called Dadaab and Beyond. And as participation grew larger than just those who went on the trip, the name was shortened to Beyond. Currently, 30 to 40 students meet weekly to brainstorm or create original pieces built around activism. Outreach projects have included support for the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, the Occupy movement downtown and young abused women.