The Art of Education
If life was a painting, I just received the pleasure of viewing one of the world’s greatest masterpieces. The artists were a dozen school children, ages 7-11, in the remote African village of Kanchomba.
Because of World Vision‘s extensive work in the area of education, we were able to visit this rural school and see how education is changing the lives of these children and the older generations who are learning from them.
Since we knew about this opportunity prior to our trip, we thought it would be a good idea to bring along canvases, paints and brushes for the children. Aligning with World Vision’s practice to empower people to address their own needs, we told the children we would auction off their art in a special fundraising event called, “Art for Clean Water” that our www.ifyouknew.org group is planning for the fall. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly back to help these children.
The children eagerly agreed to participate and we were so excited. Then something happened, or should I say, didn’t happen. After we handed out all the supplies and said, “OK, paint anything you want,” the children and teachers just stared at us.
I am a bit embarrassed to say that it took me much longer than it should have to figure out what was wrong, but finally I got it. These children had never painted before, and art supplies were as foreign to them as I was standing at the head of the class.
I was then given the opportunity to show them what to do and to able to see one of the most beautiful visions form before my eyes. With the dedication of Michelangelo and interpretation of Picasso, they eagerly produced works of art that we can’t wait to share.
It was a good day at school.