Every Wednesday and Thursday Harambee Arts continues to paint with the children of City Primary. There are five new boys in the special units. On their first painting day in January they were timid and shy about letting go and enjoying the paint, yet by the second session they were smiling as they painted, proudly holding up each painting to be acknowledged by every teacher.
On March 2nd, the women of Langata Prison painted their self-portraits. We went through three meditations and visualizations where each woman explored three things she loves about herself. After the meditations, the women painted self-portraits to portray these three visualised qualities, features etc. Both the process and results were powerful!
On January 23rd we met with Kibera Kids 4 Peace and painted in the alley outside of the Masai Mbili art studio. The kids were excited to paint and draw again after the Christmas break. We had a lot of fun together!
Several months ago Harambee Arts started to offer a second weekly painting group to a group of older children at the City Primary School. The children are more severely autistic than our on-going younger group. Their head teacher reports that he has already seen dramatic changes in the children. Their styles develop and their special personalities emerge. Mihrein, the most outspoken of the group, usually paints one color at a time. He doesn’t like to get dirty and barks orders or makes comments about the others, as he smiles and paints his one-color paintings. “Sit down, finish that painting. Why […]
Nadir was dropped off by his mother two weeks ago. He didn’t speak. His mom warned us that, “He can’t hold anything by himself. He just sits by himself. He can’t do anything.” Within twenty minutes, Nadir was holding the brush and the palette, painting and grinning.
Harambee Arts has recently welcomed two new permanent staff members. Lillian Onbonyo, co-trainer for the most recent training for counselors at the Kenya Association of Professional Counselors, is a nurse who is also trained in play and expressive arts therapy. Margaret Wambugu is a twenty-one year old woman who loves children. She brings a grounded and soothing quality to our program. We are also so fortunate to have an inspiring new group of volunteers including fourteen-year old Kimotho who brings joy and his lovely young spirit to the team. Lillian Margaret Kimotho Erick, Sofia, Margaret and Gloria at RaMoMA
In October, Kenya Association of Professional Counselors and the Fulbright Foundation sponsored the first two-week session of our second intensive certificate course in Expressive Arts Therapy. Ten counselors are attending the 150 hour course which will resume in mid-November.
The Harambee Arts group continues to grow. Last week there were more than 50 women dancing and painting their stories. One of them said, “I have a sense of belonging in this group. Someone cares about us.”
Your 100% tax deductible gift to Harambee Arts: Let’s Pull Together TM directly helps provide art programs for vulnerable children in an environment that fosters their sense of joy, creativity and exuberance.