Art comes from the heart and soul so what better way to connect people than through their art?
All children are inherently creative and love to express ideas, feelings and fun through colour, line and imagination. This is no less true of the disadvantaged children in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania than of our own children here at home. When we visit Canadian schools to deliver ABCD presentations, it’s part of our presentation that Canadian children make drawings or illustrated postcards for us to bring back as gifts to our ABCD children. So the art flows both ways across the globe!
When we met the first children who entered the ABCD program, we were surprised and moved to see that they had never seen coloured pencils or been given a chance to just draw. They had to be encouraged to use colour and shading, and we asked them to draw for us their dreams for their futures. The children were hesitant and shy at first but with each visit to them, their innate sense of creativity grew and now we are giving them basic instruction with watercolours and brushes to expand their experience and enjoyment of art. The goal is not the production of quality art, it’s witnessing the joy in their faces and watching them grow and develop their confidence.
When the children grow older and move on to colleges and universities all over Tanzania it becomes a challenge to obtain art from them, so instead, these students will often send a thank you note or letter and a photo to us which we try to share with our supporters.
The image above shows Delivina working on a drawing. The art below was created by Epifania. You can see more of the children’s art by visiting Children of Kilimanjaro and clicking on individuals there.