A few years back, I saw a posting on one of my list serves regarding the need for art students to make children's books for kids in Uganda. Having lived in Kampala for a month and having volunteered at the Kamwokya Christian Caring Community (KCCC), I decided to forward the message to my sister who teaches at a high school. The art students at her school ended up making a bunch of books and they were received by kids abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Check out some pictures from the delivery in Kampala and Gulu.
The project I'm referring to is the Books of Hope program, which is a part of the Memory Project. Art students of all levels create entertaining and educational books for kids in Uganda and India. High school and university art students can also create portraits of orphans for the Memory Portrait program. Students receive a photo of an orphan and then create a high quality portrait. The project works in Honduras, Egypt, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, India and Uganda, among others.
I forgot about this project until the other week when I received an update from my sister. As it turns out, the founder, Ben, is from my hometown. He also has spent time at KCCC as they have been recipients of books. Ben is currently delivering portraits and books in Egypt. He emailed to say that the greatest need is for more schools to participate for the next school year. Teachers can sign up on the website.
If you are an art teacher, please consider this project in your lesson plans for next year. Or if you know one, please forward on this information! If you are in the Minneapolis area, I would love to brainstorm ideas about a gallery showing of the portraits.