I was invited to spend two days with a group of about 20 boys resident in a children’s centre in Kathmandu. Not sure how they all came to be there, as I heard a few different accounts, from them being former street children who chose to take up the offer for education and residency, to others who are under court orders for crime. There are over a hundred boys there, maybe there is a mix of reasons.
Before arriving I was told that they “wouldn’t be interested in art”, which was kind of an odd place to start, however, I found a chorus of boys telling me who loved art, and who was good at drawing. Now that’s what I love to hear!
This group of boys was very diverse in age and ability; and included some who had an intellectual disability. Teaching is hard work at the best of times, but here it is very challenging for teachers to work across such broad cross-section of ages and needs, especially with little support and training. It is a common issue in education in Nepal.
We did drama and drawing games, observational drawing using continuous line, as well as the body in motion. The boys who were able to focus were very good at these. We looked at pattern and design; the boys broke into groups to design a border for an artwork which they would complete on the following day.
We looked at the body in movement again – this time focussing on the joints. I had intended to get them to draw humans in action based on the x-ray drawings, but they wanted to try drawing the animals … they did extremely well and here are the results. Well done boys!
As outsiders we get glimpses into the many challenges that children face in Nepal – and here I saw yet another aspect of children’s lives. However, I also saw something I have witnessed time and time again – a love of art and drama, and a deep desire to learn.
This is an Artists in Community International project, run in collaboration with the Kadambari Memorial College (School of Social Work). It was funded through the generous donations of our many supporters. Please consider supporting our future projects. https://artistsincommunity.me/2016/11/09/how-to-donate/. I particularly would like to acknowledge Tenzing Ngawang Yonzan, a first year social work student, whose contribution was crucial to making this project a success.