When I told Altagrace about our art session with the kids at Grace, she suggested we hold a session with the children from the community inclusion program. So the following week, we invited a small group of the children and their parents from the community to Grace for an afternoon of arts and crafts. We worked on two projects together over the course of the morning.
The first to arrive was Christelle, a 15-year-old who Altagrace works with on her mental development skills. Christelle told me she already had plenty of experience with art- and she showed her patience and concentration as we worked on our first project together. We used letter stencils to create a design around Christelle’s initials, and then Christelle decorated the paper with designs of her own creation.
As we worked more children began to arrive, and everyone chose their initials and began to paint. Some of the children felt apprehensive about using the materials themselves, and some felt afraid of making mistakes. Vanessa, a promoter who works with the community inclusion program, helped guide their hands and made sure they understood the ideas. Eventually, everyone began to work.
After we finished our first project, we made “shoe fish.” By tracing and cutting around the outsides of our shoes, we created fish shapes to decorate with fins, tails, and scales. Almond, a boy that Vanessa visits in the community, felt confused when I asked him to use his shoe to draw! But once he understood the idea, he drew a beautiful green and blue fish that he showed to his dad.
After we had all finished our projects, we had lunch together and stepped out for a picture with the whole group. It was a great day and I was happy that the kids felt confident enough in their skills to draw on their own- and I hope they will continue to foster their talent.