Christina’s notes from the field:
After selecting the participants, we left it up to them to come to the Save the Children Center for our morning classes. Not all of them came on time, but almost all came, and it was heartwarming to see the selected boys and girls come to a class that they knew close to nothing about. In particular, given that many have already given up on school or have never gone to school, their willingness to attend is not a small thing. On the first day our big activity was painting and sewing designs on cotton bags that they will use to carry their journals and art supplies. The bright fabric paint and sparkly sequins were quickly transformed into people, houses, and patterns and the names of the youth. The activity had both a psychosocial and a functional purpose: the bags will be the safe space created by each participant in which they can put their art journals – essentially creating something to hold and protect the feelings and expressions that will be expressed through art. These bags are now travelling around the camp on the backs of our new students!