We are back in Malawi where it seems almost every child can draw well! We are trying to manage the crowd but thankfully we have our Malawian Operations Director Chimwemwe Luwanda here to run things. Home of Hope is celebrating 25 years of operations and we love coming back here to see all our friends, especially the 94-year-old founder Timothy John Chipeta, or "Agogo" as we all call him (Chichewa for grandfather).
We are forever grateful to Madonna and Raising Malawi for bringing us here 5 years ago. We started in Malawi doing murals for the Mercy James Center in Blantyre, and each year we add more murals to Home of Hope to honor that tradition.
We have worked with many of our partners for years, and we started with The Small Things in 2016. One of the best parts of that process is getting to watch the kids grow up, as artists and as people. The little ones we started painting with are now off at Secondary Schools and have been reunited with their families (Thanks to The Small Things terrific record with reunification). What that means is the toddlers who used to disrupt the class with their antics, now rule the class and are the best artists! With a new generation coming up we look forward to many more years woking on Mt. Meru with these guys!
We are back at the Tumaini School in Karatu! From pre-primary to secondary, these schools educate some 1200 kids in the area. From our classroom we can see the rim of the Ngorongoro crater, often seeing eagles and storks migrating across the campus. With deep ties to the local population, occasionally we can get a local celebrity to join our class. Such was the case with local artist Athaman Katongo, whose paintings grace the walls of top lodges like Gibbs Farm and the Cultural Heritage Center. He came to paint with his son in our class!
We are back where it all started in 2014, the Rift Valley Children's Village, and each year just gets better and better. The Tanzanian Children's Fund provides residential care for over 100 at-risk children, presides over 3 primary schools, a secondary boarding school, medical clinic, micro finance program, and many other exciting projects that are truly transformative to the Oldeani community in Tanzania. The kids are incredibly talented and each year we do more and more murals for the school campuses!
Our Kenyan operations director, Samuel Kinyua, was looking for a little adventure so we got him on a bus over to Kampala to work with Acrobatics Circus Troupe. This organization empowers kids in the Katwe neighborhood with acrobatic training. As we know they are also very talented artists! Thank you to Sam and the kids for turning out such beautiful paintings.
We just finished our annual online auction and all lots have sold! Thank you to everyone who bid and make sure to look for exciting new works next year. Click on our gallery pages to see works available now!