Help HIV positive orphans this Christmas

November 25, 2012, 0 Comments

Photos courtesy of Nyumbani

“Many children at Nyumbani has lost both parents to HIV and are left without any tribal care. To an African, it means a life of no protection and no family ties.  Nyumbani has worked for many years in the slum areas educating and helping families live with HIV and orphans. Learn more about Nyumbani.”

When Lisa Wee, an Art Teacher in Kenya was in Singapore in July this year. I caught up with her and found about the project she was doing in Kenya and how it was helping orphans who were HIV positive.

Q1: Tell us about the project you are doing?

Lisa: I wanted to bring awareness of the effect of HIV on orphans. These kids are orphans but they are also HIV positive. Many HIV positive kids face stigma in society, and are not be given much opportunities. Therefore, I wanted to use my art to help them. The profit which comes from the sales of my art, goes into organising art competition for the HIV orphans. These children would feel that they have achieve something great by winning an art competition and the prize money will go into their school fee.

Q2: How long have you been in Kenya and what made you stay so long?

Lisa: I have been in Kenya since 2005-Every time, I come back to Singapore, I felt a sense of privilege to live in such a beautiful, safe and ever growing country. Every time I go back to Kenya, I wanted give back to society. The little I can do with the help of like-minded people makes my work lighter yet stronger because I can see how the little is so big to the ones who needs them.

Q3: How does what you do help the orphans ?

Lisa:  To many of us, we take education seriously. To many children in Africa, it is a luxurious and time consuming. To many parent, education takes their children away from earning a little in a day to live on. If a normal family were to think that way, the orphans with no one to care for them, it would be even harder. Many orphans have alot of children, to gather enough fund every year is get harder and harder because if bad economy. So I want to do my part in helping. Instead of just fund-raising-I want to challenge many of orphan to do something with their abilities to do art to express themselves.

Q4: You do brilliant works of animals and scenery, is there a reason why you choose to paint those?

Lisa: Kenya provides a great background to my art. The animals in Parks, the trees everywhere…..

Q5: Where do you get most of your inspiration from?

Lisa: One of my client told me that my art spoke to her/him. My inspiration comes from wanting to speak with people-not with words but with painting.

Q6: What motivates you in life?

Lisa: God-it sound very clincher-but that is the truth. In Kenya, I am away from my family, safe country, financial stability and friends-if anything were to happen, I am alone- but God always remind me that He know me…He wants me to know Him. To hang onto to Him-when all else fails. He never fails.

Q7: Can you describe What Art means to you?

Lisa: My gift from God.

Q8: How does Art benefit children in general?

Lisa: I saw a documentary about James Cameron-the creator of Avatar and Titanic. He started as a school bus driver. He said it never fulfilled him as a person. Then he started to paint and work with film, that is when his whole life become one with himself. Art does that to children.God gave us an innate need to communicate. To many, verbal communication is easy but if we were to help our children to communicate in another way-through art, I think we will see many James Cameron.

Q9: How does one cultivate an environment where children can be artistic?

Lisa: Expose them to art on a consistent way. Bring art into your home. Show them art exhibition. Teach them to appreciate colours. Cultivate enjoyment over simple design.

Q10: What can we do if we like to continue to support the children you are working with?

Lisa:  There are many ways you can help-buy one of my art, donate, spread the word about what we are doing. If you are in Kenya, come and visit me and I will show some of my favorite places in the slum.

Art session with Lisa when she was in Singapore in July 2012

These beautiful nature-inspired art pieces are drawn by Art teacher Lisa Wee. Lisa has been in Kenya for the past 8 years teaching art to many international school students.  Her compassion for children who are less fortunate paired with her love for art has helped many of her students win international art competition and art scholarship. Check out her students’ work at Look and Learn Art

Lisa works with children who are orphans and are HIV positive. Many of them grow up as an outcast, carrying a stigma and not given much opportunities in society. The proceeds from these art pieces is used to organise art competition for them.  Winning art competition helps these children gain a sense of achievement and purpose in life.  The prize money will then go towards their school fees, ensuring equal opportunity for education.

A gift unto a gift  – It is getting a gift and two persons or more benefits. When you purchase one of the art pieces you are partnering us in bringing hope to these children. 80% of the sales proceeds will go towards the children in need.

Many children at Nyumbani has lost both parents to HIV and are left without any tribal care. To an African, it means a life of no protection and no family ties.  Nyumbani has worked for many years in the slum areas educating and helping families live with HIV and orphans. More information about Nyumbani.

To purchase one of Lisa’s art pieces, check out Oak Tree Baby FB – Christmas Charity Sale






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