Today I had the priviledge of working with some lovely young people at the Sunshine Centre. It has been set up for children from disadvantaged backgrounds in the part of Phnom Penh where I live. The children here would often spend their days roaming the streets looking for rubbish to sell. Many of their families would earn under $2 a day, which is not enough to feed them let alone consider an education. The Sunshine Centre provides a place where they can go for food, education and some health care. However the whole family is important and regularly visitied by staff to try to help them with their children.
I was working with the older children helping them to design artwork for Christmas cards which are going to be printed for fund raising. It was so much fun just seeing them work with the ideas I had come up with and put their own twist on it.
Most of these children have had very little opportunity to do anything creative except when they are at the Sunshine Centre. Most of the art work they have done is copying with a pencil or coloured pencils. We were working with collage and paints which was a new experience for them and they just did not want to stop!
It was really hard to come up with a design idea which they could make their own, have Khmer elements and appeal to the overseas market! The difficulty is, there is no traditional Khmer symbols for Christmas all have been borrowed from the west and very rarely have any Christain content. So trying to explain why we needed a crown or present was quite hard!
Hopefully I have come up with something which will work with a Khmer twist…all will be revealed and I will let you know when they will be on sale if you would like to buy any!
By the way these were pictures from my first session …not today. We have made a few changes to the origonal designs!! So sorry no sneaky peaks until next week!