The Metis Fund

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Project supported by the Metis Fund in India, arts & development


The arts help activate emotional intelligence, a driving force for individual and collective transformation. They can thereby complement the technical expertise that underlies any development dynamic.

In countries subject to major vulnerabilities, the Metis Fund gives the opportunity to a wide variety of entities (including hospitals, municipalities, companies, environmental NGOs, natural parks and school networks) to open their doors to artists and build a space for dialogue and creation with them in connection with a development issue.

Logo fonds Metis Arts et développement


The objective? Turn their joint creative process and the final creation into a driver for transformations. This pathway for action is highly effective but not yet common in development dynamics.

Through its extensive network of partner operators and its innovative project engineering, the Metis Fund acts as a driving force for far-reaching impact. Its approach builds up the dignity of its stakeholders, their desire to learn and take action, their mutual understanding, as well as their know-how and social skills. All these factors are essential to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Metis thereby acts as a catalyst for talent.


The Metis Arts and Development Fund helps build and implement grassroots initiatives to heighten the senses in territories concerned by development issues.

These initiatives are built locally in a collaborative way by AFD and its local partners. AFD’s network of local offices selects the projects submitted to the Metis Fund on the basis of four criteria:

  • The project’s link with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 
  • The territorial roots/local ownership by a development operator
  • The involvement and collaboration of local communities
  • Artistic quality and the involvement of local artists

The action of Metis also aims to scale up the impact of “Arts and Development” approaches by showcasing the results of the initiatives supported, creating and leading networks of partners of this approach, and building the capacities of operators seeking to invest in an Arts and Development process.


  • Nigeria - Catch’Up Project: Visual arts to get children into school in Abuja

For several months, 30 out-of-school children from 2 of Abuja’s roughest neighborhoods benefited from learning and artistic workshops with 2 professional Nigerian artists. During these workshops, both the children and the artists themselves created unique works which were exhibited and sold. The initiative has used arts as a way to make these children want to learn again and eventually set them back on the path to school.

I’ve always been sensitive to the suffering of street children and the psychological challenges they must face at such a young age. How can we get in touch with them? Through art! There’s no special language to adopt… The children simply feel free to communicate. 

Chidima Urunwa, visual artist
  • Mozambique – “The Elephant” called Madala Vaku Niassa: Sculpture and sewing to combat poaching and preserve biodiversity 

At the heart of the Niassa National Reserve, in the far north of Mozambique, an artist has built a sculpture of a life-size African elephant with local people and operators in the area. Covered with skin made of fabric woven by local communities, this elephant will be travelling around the country to address the complex issue of poaching, stimulate people’s imaginations regarding their connection to wildlife, and promote biodiversity protection.

They’re aged between 17 and 48. They call themselves brothers and sisters. Most of them have never left the reserve. It’s their first formal job. They’ve known wars, diseases, cyclones and droughts, hunger. For the last three months, I’ve been training Josina, Norte, Matola, Cecilia and Roques in how to work with steel. I’d be lying if I said it was easy. I’ve lost count of the moments of joy, anger, fatigue, misunderstanding. Each day brings new challenges and new learning experiences. The story of this elephant is above all an encounter. And what an encounter!

Jules Penel, sculptor artist
  • Togo - “Vivre Ensemble” (Living Together): Using recycling and artistic creativity to get people involved in fighting pollution and protecting the environment

For several weeks and in collaboration with the municipal teams of Greater Lomé, 2 Togolese artists specialized in waste recycling have taken more than 80 young people from Lomé, aged between 8 and 15, to collect waste on the beaches. They have trained them so that they can each create an artistic work designed using these recovered materials. By serving as a vehicle for artistic expression and heightening their senses, this initiative has made them all express their pride and determination to take care of their environment.

The essence of development lies in independent thinking skills and self-identity. This is what brings artistic creation. With this type of initiative, we’re focusing on the next generation for development and we’re giving young people tools to seize the opportunities of tomorrow.   

Jildaz Evin, Deputy Director of AFD’s Lomé office  


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projects deployed since 2021
artists mobilized
people directly reached, including 7,500 young people